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]
new lamps from old
One of our recent jobs sounded like a line from Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp: creating new lamps from old.
"I have two old street lights that I love," our client explained. "I've even found Victorian cast-iron wall-mounts for them. The trouble is, I need more lamps and mounts to match them. Eight more, in fact." Architectural salvage companies across the UK had drawn a blank, which was when PipSqueak got called in.
The original lamps were, of course, made of cast iron. For the eight reproductions we chose aluminium instead - so the new lamps and mounts weigh 60% less than their 19th-century parents. This means they can be fitted to a larger range of walls without extra support.
Traditional sand-casting gave our new lamps and mounts a perfect Victorian look, despite the modern material. Once finished and hand-painted, even we could only tell them apart by hefting them!
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!
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.
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