WHAT WE DO

LINKING OLD AND NEW

we bring together the best of the best

These sweeping stairs are now the central focus of a Grade II-listed home in Marylebone, London.

This was a collaborative project between architects Waind Gohil + Potter, structural engineers Webb Yates, and PipSqueak. To deliver this unique centrepiece, we commissioned experts in fields as diverse as welding, museum display-lighting and leatherwork.

 

PipSqueak are "inventive, resourceful, collaborative and highly competent."
[James Potter, partner WG+P Architects]

The lightest of touches
The lightest of touches

A prime requirement for this project was that the new staircase made as little contact as possible with the walls of its Grade II-listed home.

Complex curves
Complex curves

We had the plywood stair treads custom made to match the client's oak floor.

Work in progress
Work in progress

Getting this staircase into place was an eye-of-the-needle job, so top-grade assembly welding was needed.

Leather for the stair rail
Leather for the stair rail

We brought in one of the country's leading leatherworkers to create the perfect result shown here.

FANTASTIC PHENOMENA

we bring the impossible to life

"Pumpkin Man" - a fairytale giant built to survive all weathers for six weeks and then vanish without trace  

 

Many of PipSqueak's commissions are for sensitive sites, so we are used to working in and around listed buildings and historic monuments. It's still a treat to be faced with a challenge like this one: to design and install the massive centrepiece for an autumn display at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Kew is one of only 17 World Heritage Sites in England. Among its glories are its trees; many precious and rare. No installation can disturb or damage their roots - just one of a host of considerations we had to take into account in our design, which used reversible ground anchors.

Part of Pumpkin Man's instant appeal to the public was that we designed him to be installed overnight. At the end of the festival we did the same trick in reverse, so by dawn he had vanished without trace.  Magic!

Pumpkin Man
Pumpkin Man

It's always brilliant when your design comes to life!

First view: SolidWorks model
First view: SolidWorks model

Getting a real sense of the scale of the project and its dramatic impact

Solid steel support act...
Solid steel support act...

A steel skeleton designed to cradle each individual pumpkin without damaging it.

Seed of a great idea
Seed of a great idea

Planning began many months ahead (before the start of the pumpkin-growing season!)

PUBLIC STATEMENTS

we make landmarks that tell stories

At its best, public art should be utterly rooted in its chosen site, telling a story that belongs to its people and place.


To bring sculptor Robert Erskine's work "Dead Blow" to life in Openshaw, Manchester, we teamed up with skilled local metalworkers. They were more used to making JCB parts than fine art but were excited to be part of a project paying homage to the Nasmyth steam hammer, which was created in Manchester and powered the Industrial Revolution.

One of our tasks was to design the sculpture in such a way that it could be entirely manufactured and assembled in a workshop just a few minutes' walk from where "Dead Blow" is now proudly on show.

Dead Blow
Dead Blow

It was important to reproduce the scribbled surface of the artist's original sketch.

Dead Blow
Dead Blow

is Robert Erskine's sculptural homage to the Nasmyth steam hammer.

Dead Blow
Dead Blow

Installing public art of this size is not a task to be undertaken lightly!

Nasmyth hammers in action
Nasmyth hammers in action

Developed in Manchester, James Hall Nasmyth's hammers made the Industrial Revolution possible.