Above: Looking north at the public art, with Broadgate Circle behind.
This large piece of public art was commissioned to stand on a small space, standing at one of the key entry points to the Broadgate Estate. It was created in 1987 by the artist Richard Serra (born 1939 in the USA). Serra decided to design upwards. At around 55 feet high, the wigwam-like structure is spot welded, giving the illusion that the five sheets of self-weathering Cor-Ten steel are simply leaning against each another. Interaction is at the heart of Serra’s works and so this enclosed sanctuary has three entrances, inviting you to step inside and indulge in a bit of sky gazing.
Serra, who enjoys an enormous global reputation, is well known for creating pieces from large sheets of metal, giving fabricated steel the power and density that traditionally belong to bronze and stone. Relishing the controversy created by his pieces, Serra maintains that they have no subject of their own, and that instead viewers “become the subject once they enter a work and interact with it”. Recent exhibitions include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
After ‘being exposed to the elements’ the work is showing signs of weathering. However it is is a piece of art that you are not likely to walk past without noticing it. Whether you like it or not seems to depend on individual taste.
It is the largest piece of public art on show at Broadgate and, being at one end of a busy pedestrian walkway at the western end of the concourse to Liverpool Street Station, it is seen by thousands of people every day. It stands at the centre of a circle formed by several shops including Reiss, Monsoon, Oliver Bonas, Links of London and Swatch.