Landscape Architects: McFarlane Wilder
Local Authority: Westminster City Council
Artists: John Aiken, Gary Webb and Steve Gontarski
Creation and implementation of the art programme for phase two of the PaddingtonCentral development in London.
Paddington Central is part of the wider Paddington Waterside regeneration area.
The development has become an important benchmark in London for sustainable regeneration,
provision of quality public realm and progressive architecture. It also possesses visionary public
art commissioning with works by Sean Henry, Langlands and Bell and Thomas Heatherwick.
Inspired by this context, the Public Art Strategy at PaddingtonCentral phase two introduces
properly integrated works of art that celebrate some of the key themes that inform the design
of the architecture and landscaping.
As a corporate environment, the opportunity to work with community groups was limited. We were keen to gauge the views of the local business community, however, and this was achieved by close consultation with Alison Shields of the PaddingtonCentral Management Company.
John Aiken produced twin sculptures fabricated from Portugese silver gray granite. Laid into the stone the artist fixed colour enamel panels to produce two works that explore the role of colour in sculpture. Colour is a thematic link that connects with the other two artists involved at PaddingtonCentral, Gary Webb and Steve Gontarski. Gary Webb produced two works, each sited in water features at the extreme end of the site.
These are true to his trade-mark style, colourfully painted steel ‘blobs’ held together in a mesh of metal tubing. Gontarski produced a ‘bright yellow object’ made from painted and lacquered glass fibre that ‘lends itself to a corporeal reception by the public…to create a heart in the midst of an urban setting.’ The work is sited outside the entrance to one of the main buildings at the site, One Kingdom Street.