Levitating Building by Alex Chinneck

British artist and designer Alex Chinneck created this large-scale optical illusion in Covent Garden, London, entitled 'Take My Lightning But Don't Steal My Thunder' that appears to levitate.

"The sculpture is located on the eastern side of covent garden piazza in london. we have manufactured a 1:1 replica of a stone building also contained within the square but created the illusion that the top half of this building has torn from its base and floated into the air. no ties, tethers or supports will be visible to the public, who will be free to walk beneath the 12 meter wide by 10 meter high levitating structure. the project combines art, architecture, theatre, construction, engineering and magic, taking a very complex path to a surreal but hopefully spectacular moment."

This mind-blowing sculpture was modeled after the original architecture of the 184-year old Market Building.

Chinneck and his team of over 50 professionals comprising consultants, tradesman, engineering and construction, created the 40-foot long installation using polystyrene and covered the surface with materials that look like stone.

"My ideas are always beyond my means and capacity to realize them. I therefore play the role of a project manager and collaborate with a spectrum of companies, consultants and specialists. the production team for this project includes structural engineers (smith & wallwork engineers), architectural consultants (united projects), planning consultants, steelworkers (severfield rowen), carpenters (scott fleary productions), carvers (cordek), scenic artists (richard nutbourne scenic studio), 3D modelers and 5-axis robots. the number of people involved in this project has been vast and comfortably beyond 100 contributors. without the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of these parties this project would be unquestionably unachievable."

The team installed a metal frame and put the sculpture together over four days.

"Art has the capacity and license to re-imagine, re-present and reinvigorate the world around us and so architecture is a brilliant canvas for creative exploration and distortion because it surrounds and contains us."

"I like how creative practice can make the everyday world feel momentarily extraordinary and by theatrically manipulating familiar architectural scenarios this is what I try and hope to do."

“It’s extraordinarily theatrical and film-like. It will look like the building has been torn off about a third way into the air and is floating.”

“You can’t tell the difference between the fake and the real thing, to touch it, to see it. But it’s hovering. It’s extraordinarily complicated.”

“As long as as many people enjoy it as possible, that’s my aim. It’s a logistical minefield that you have to navigate to get to a fun conclusion. I didn’t get into art for that, but that’s what I do.”

The piece will be on view in the Covent Garden piazza through 24 October 24 2014.

Check his website: www.alexchinneck.com/

Source: telegraph.co.uk, designboom


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