Location: Sunderland, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2011
Artwork budget: $650,000
Arup Associates Limited
Commissioned by Nexus, transport operators for the North East, and unveiled at Sunderland Station, this 144m long piece presents a virtual platform filled with passengers shadows within a glass block wall. The 3m tall glass block wall in the underground train station has been turned into a large low-resolution video matrix (755×15 pixels). Behind the wall is a disused platform, which long ago used to see passengers waiting for trains. Now the tracks are long gone and the old platform is hidden from view, we have created characters that appear behind the glass wall opposite passengers waiting for the trains.
Platform 5 was commissioned as part of major re-development at Sunderland Station. The vision was to improve visitor experience through modernisation and activation of the public realm. The artwork was intended to offer a playful distraction to travellers awaiting their trains. For regular commuters, the intervention needed to be a distinctive conversation starter and a characterful, inviting emblem for the local area. Jason Bruges Studio created a site-specific response that remembers the previous architecture of the space. The glass block virtual platform replaces the old platform 5 with a witty, engaging, interactive and nostalgic feature that makes the station more inviting.
Jason Bruges Studio worked closely with collaborators and stakeholders across the project programme. They liaised with art consultant, Andrew Knight to ensure the client’s expectations were met. Regular meetings and site visits in Sunderland contributed to smooth working from design to installation. To create the characters in the wall, the Studio chose to work with members of the local community. This reflects an ongoing preference for community participation within a project programme. The studio chose to collaborate on the fabrication and installation with a number of external contractors and suppliers. They liaised with these parties regularly as an extended part of the core team. Jason Bruges Studio professionally manage all of our suppliers with back to back contracts to ensure our pieces are delivered on budget, on time and to the high standards of finish we expect.