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Rope Assemblies helps create stunning artwork during London Festival of Architecture

Rope Assemblies helps create stunning artwork during London Festival of Architecture

UK – Retford based Rope Assemblies has been praised for its professionalism and expertise by ScottWhitbystudio for its role in helping create The St Paul's Gateway as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

The contemporary gateway structure creates over 400 mirrored images of St Paul's Cathedral as pedestrians arrive out of St Paul's underground station. The design features hundreds of highly reflective anodised aluminium poles suspended vertically from a simple lightweight structural canopy. In the middle of the structure, users will find a reflective oculus and dome of poles which have been derived using the same mathematical geometry Christopher Wren used when designing the dome of St Paul's Cathedral.

Osman Marfo-Gyasi, studio project leader at ScottWhitbystudio commented: "We were initially approached by the Cheapside Bid Alliance alongside the London Festival of Architecture who commissioned us to come up with ideas for something to animate the traffic island outside St Paul's Cathedral. Marc Thomas of Millimetre, our initial fabricator on the job recommended that we get in touch with Rope Assemblies. Marc had done a lot of legwork for us so we knew what kit we needed to procure, but the Rope Assemblies team was extremely helpful in ensuring we were able to get what we needed and also keep within budget."

He continued: "The Rope Assemblies kit was extremely well made; while installing the cables for the structure, they were put under an immense level of tension and none of them showed any signs of failure. The entire experience of working with the RA team made for a stress free experience, they were able to grasp the nuances of what we needed and supply the correct products which were all made to order."

The time scales for the project were particularly tight with just three weeks from making initial contact with Rope Assemblies to installation. "The main challenges for this project were budget and timescale. Thanks to Linda Martin, Rope Assemblies' managing director, we were able to negotiate a price that would allow us to keep in budget and RA was exemplary with the delivery of its products within our time frame," he said.

Linda added: "Understanding the nature of the industry, we are extremely used to working to tight deadlines, even when the project isn't always straight forward. There was some toing and froing with regards to specific parts, each cable had to be a specific length and we had to keep discussions going on how to ensure that the cables were the absolute correct lengths. But once this was all confirmed, were able to turn around the product swiftly and to time."

While this is the first time that ScottWhitbystudio has worked with Rope Assemblies, Osman says he has no doubt that this is the first of many projects. "Thanks to Rope Assemblies' professionalism and expertise we have created a work of art that the client, Cheapside Business Alliance, and also the City of London is extremely happy with. There is even talk of it staying longer than the original four-month lifespan, such is its popularity. I am sure we will approach Linda and the team first, the next time we get involved in a project where their knowledge and quality of products can help. We would also like to thank the rest of the team who helped make the gateway a reality especially William Hare Group who donated the steel structure, ARUP engineers, Righton and Windsor Workshop."

photos: Osman Marfo-Gyasi

Rope Assemblies helps create stunning artwork during London Festival of ArchitectureRope Assemblies helps create stunning artwork during London Festival of Architecture

27th July 2018

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