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Rising talent wins contest for Flint Castle landmark

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George King Architects has won an international competition to design a £395,000 landmark commemorating Welsh legends at Flint Castle

The London and Gloucestershire-based practice was chosen ahead of four unnamed rival bidders for the prestigious Welsh government-backed commission.

A parallel competition for a separate £400,000 landmark at another heritage site in Wales is still ongoing, with the winner due to be announced later this year.

George King’s winning structure will be sited at Flint Castle, which was built in the late 13th century as part of King Edward I’s campaign to conquer Wales.

The project – dubbed ‘Iron Ring’ – features a 7m-high, 30m-wide sculpture symbolising a giant rusted crown. This represents the relationship between the medieval monarchies of Europe and the castles they built.

Flint Castle was the setting for Richard II’s surrender of the crown to Henry IV — a momentous event affecting the history of Britain and Europe.

The installation, planned to open in 2018, will be engraved with words and proverbs developed in partnership with the local community. Visitors will be able to walk along the sculpture and enjoy elevated views across the estuary and of the castle.

Gka iron ring 06

Gka iron ring 06

Studio founder George King said: ‘The sculpture will take a balanced form, some buried beneath the ground, the remainder projecting into the air, to demonstrate the unstable nature of the crown.

‘The sculpture has been carefully designed to work at many scales. From afar its striking, iconic form resembles a giant ancient artefact, washed up on the shore of the Dee Estuary.

‘Its scale and dynamic appearance mean that it will become an instantly recognisable landmark for the area. However, as you approach the sculpture it becomes obvious that the piece is more than just a sculpture.’

The two-stage contest, open to artists and designers, aimed to replicate the crowd-drawing success of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North and Paul Cummins’ Tower of London poppies installation.

The unveiling of the project, backed by the government’s Cadw heritage wing, will form the centrepiece of Wales’s 2017 Year of Legends cultural programme, aimed at boosting tourism.

The second structure will be erected at a separate Cadw site, to be chosen in response to the design entries.

Gka iron ring 3d printed model

Gka iron ring 3d printed model


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