Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $500,000
LJMU Client Team Leader
John Moore's University
OverviewArchitectural Glass Facade 700sqm Public Art at Sensor City, Liverpool, England. Commissioned by the University of Liverpool and John Moore's University, Sensor City is a Liverpool-based technical innovation centre and University Enterprise Zone. It aims to foster the creation, development, production and promotion of cutting edge sensor technologies for use world wide. The architectural glass facade aims to signal the aspiration of this facility. The architects at IBI Group required a design that suggested the potential of this technology without limiting the imagery to existing applications. Hence an abstract design utilises a palette dominated by gold, an element valued in electronics as a conductor. The sensor technology developed in this building will have a reach limited only by the imaginations of the scientists. And this appeal to imagination finds form in the interpretation of the facade. Whilst reference is made to IT and the theory and materials of electronics, it is important to encourage the broadest possible associations with the design. Whether this is dazzle camouflage, a field of barley or photovoltaic cell. And by avoiding monolithic references to what exists today, it is hoped that "Fields of Gold" will communicate an excitement for what is possible tomorrow.
It was critical that the architectural glazing signal the use of the building. It was intended that Sensor City should become a landmark within Liverpool and focus for the regeneration of the city. This was achieved when the building was voted the 7th most admired building in Liverpool in a poll by the Liverpool Echo. And this affection was reinforced when tourist buses began including Sensor City as part of their itinerary.
"Fields of Gold" is an exemplar project demonstrating collaboration between a public artist and design team. Firstly in developing the concept design with the client team from the universities, alongside IBI Group architects. This was then presented to the planning department at Liverpool City Council for sign-off before the detail design was progressed. The detail design involved close consultation with Novum Structures who were the principle sub-contractor for the facade and Ariño Duglass who manufactured the glass. The client team, planners and main contractor were informed at all times as final design and prototype panels were agreed.