It's not every day you get to play a part in a work of art, so we were intrigued to be approached for the paving to mark out the position of a sculpture to be installed at Riverlight.
'Skystation' sculpture by Peter Newman, with bespoke paving by London Stone
Riverlight is a mixed-use development on the south bank of the Thames near Battersea Power Station. Futurecity, experts in brokering relationships between developers and cultural institutions, were commissioned to coordinate and deliver the installation of various artworks for the open spaces which combine the themes of water and light, and aim to encourage the passing public to interact with them.
One of them is Skystation by artist Peter Newman. The polished aluminium sculpture acts as public seating for twelve or more people, and is contoured to encourage users to lie back and contemplate the sky and architecture above them (and chat, as their heads are so close together). It needed to sit on paving that would make it feel anchored in its space, and it's also sure to draw plenty of passers-by to sit on it, so we needed a hard-wearing, low maintenance paving beneath.
A combination of Blue Grey Granite and Black Basalt was ideal. A plus to these hard-wearing stones is that they are available with the same finish and texture. This means the different colour paving slabs unite well in a pattern.
This isn't any old pattern, though. Part of the intention in the Skystation installation is to honour the riverside location, and the interlocking triangular shapes in the Blue Grey Granite and Black Basalt paving aren't just attractive; they echo the rippling effect of light on the river.
Drawing of the design
It's also exactly the sort of pattern where our CNC machine and expert operator Piotr come into their own. As you can see in the drawing above, the paving is made up of five concentric circles of triangles, the shape of which progressively flattens from centre to edge. With skilful programming, Piotr ensured we got the pieces out of the least amount of stone necessary to reduce wastage. Then we laid them out at the production centre in the proposed pattern (jigsaw enthusiasts, apply here). Although it looks as if many of the paving slabs are the same shape, there were actually 10 different variations of the triangle to contend with. This meant careful labelling was required before we sent them off to Scotscape, who laid the paving.
Putting in a paving pattern is a simple way to give your client an extra-special design. Of course, if you're a true jigsaw enthusiast, we could muddle them up for you to sort out on site... Service available on request!