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Sam Jacob Studio unveils ‘techno-pagan’ installation

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Sam Jacob Studio has completed the installation of a 1:1 replica standing stone at the top of Milton Keynes’ Midsummer Boulevard


The scheme, dubbed the MK Menhir, is a full size copy of a standing sarsen stone from the Avebury Stone Circle.

The stone was 3D scanned and the data used to create a replica which was finished with iridescent paint before being site on a Porte Cochère.

The sculpture draws on the culture of Milton Keynes and the concepts behind the 1970’s New Town’s creation.

The installation will remain in place for the next three years.

MK Menhir by Sam Jacob Studio

MK Menhir by Sam Jacob Studio

Source: Jim Stephenson

Architect’s view

The piece simultaneously recalls one of the oldest human landscapes of Britain, while its iridescent finish suggests the contemporary language of custom car design.

This combination of ancient and modern has a close relationship to the history and culture of Milton Keynes’ design, making explicit the deep relationship to myths of the English landscape and the British rose-tinted love of Los Angeles that underwrote the original concept for the 1970’s New Town.

The MK Menhir aims to draw on these traditions and ideas in developing a new artwork that is both ancient in its references, modern in its appearance while deeply rooted in the story of Milton Keynes and Midsummer Boulevard.

It acts as a monument to the founding myths of Milton Keynes, while creating a landmark responding to the formal axis and urban design of the boulevard, itself aligned with the midsummer solstice.

MK Menhir by Sam Jacob Studio

MK Menhir by Sam Jacob Studio

Project data

Location Milton Keynes
Type of project public realm
Client Milton Keynes Council and MK Gallery
Architect Sam Jacob Studio
Structural engineer Elliott Wood
Main contractor Setworks
Completion date November 2015
Photography Jim Stephenson

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