[First look + plans + project data] Studio Egret West has completed this £3 million ‘playful’ sculpture in Stratford – featuring 73 titanium-clad GRP leaves
The tree-like 250 metre-long structure features anodised titanium ‘leaves’ which shift from red to gold to blue in response to its context. The material was chosen for its durability and lightness.
Stratford’s 1970s shopping centre is located at the centre of the sculpture. The competition-winning scheme tackles problems caused by the centre’s design which placed the ‘back’ delivery bays and car parking ramps directly opposite the area’s busy rail station.
David West of Studio Egret West said: ‘The Shoal was born of a desire to turn a negative into a positive. Instead of screening the back of house of the Stratford shopping centre, which now finds itself in the foreground, we have created a playful and dynamic edge that brings a moment of delight to those arriving in Newham.
‘We specifically used titanium because of its range of colours and its shimmering quality, meaning that the Shoalʼs appearance constantly changes in response to varying light conditions.’
Newham mayor Robin Wales added: ‘Newham is undergoing unprecedented transformation, nowhere more so than in Stratford. The Shoal is part of the £13.5 million high quality public realm project to improve Stratford Town Centre for residents and businesses and offer a unique visitor experience.
‘With the emergence of the Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City, the Shoal will connect Stratford’s exciting new developments with the existing thriving town centre and cultural quarter, helping to position the area as a world leading business, leisure and tourism destination.’
BIM technology was used in the project’s design, testing and construction process.
Architect: Studio Egret West
Main Contractor:SH Structures
Leaf Sub-contractor: Sorba