'Liminal' London

John Hill
24. September 2019
Photo: Sam Scales

Liminal, a new site-specific artwork by Wolfgang Buttress, has been unveiled opposite the Tate Modern on the north bank of the Thames as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Small apertures in the installation frame kaleidoscopic views of the river's surface.

Photo: Sam Scales

Buttress is best known for the UK Pavilion that won the gold medal at Milan Expo 2015 and then was renamed The Hive when it was moved the following year to its permanent home at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Though relatively diminutive, Liminal is a also mesmerizing; it creates a "painting" through its varied mirror, satin, and matte aluminum panels and invites passersby to take a different look at their surroundings. 

Photo: Sam Scales

Commissioned by the City of London Corporation as part of its Fantastic Feats: the Building of London program, Liminal is meant to complement "Illuminated River," a scheme to light 15 of London's bridges that was first announced in 2016. Buttress's installation extends to the aural as well, as it's accompanied by underwater sonar and ambient river sounds that accentuate the presence of the Thames in those interacting with the artwork. 

Liminal is on display until November 30.

Photo: Sam Scales
Project: Liminal, 2019
Artist: Wolfgang Buttress
Soundscape: BE 
Sound Design & Application Development: Hoare Lea  
Graphics: Wolfgang Buttress
Structural Engineers: Price and Myers

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