Anglo American invited William Pye to devise a water sculpture for the seven-storey atrium which has glazed lifts on one side. They required a structure that would divert the attention of those in the lifts from the surrounding open-plan offices on every floor.
The inspiration is from the famous photographic image of a nautilus shell taken by Edward Weston in the 1930s. The seventeen-metre high polished stainless steel sculpture has pools of water at different levels that spill over the vertical surfaces in shallow rippling waves. Water collects at ground level in a large blue pool that further echoes the form of the nautilus shell in a series of shallow terraces.
Limited access to the atrium through a standard door opening presented a challenge, and the architect and engineer had to devise a structural design where no piece was too large to pass through the opening. Normal operations in the offices had to continue with minimal interruption during the installation.
Anglo-American also commissioned a large mural from the painter Adrian Bartlett, which spans the atrium above the sculpture. Being a seascape, the predominant colour is blue and the sculptor collaborated with the painter to choose colours for the low terraces with the aim of achieving a coordination between the top and bottom of the space.
For more information or to commission a similar piece, please send a request through the contact page on this website.