Brick by Brick
Public art sculpture, with artist Sarah Staton
Alphonso is a new public artwork for Little Callow Mound, Newton Leys, by London-based artist Sarah Staton, working with the local community.
The design celebrates the area’s history of brickmaking through the use of bespoke, handmade bricks, some glazed, some natural, together with hand-painted blue and white tiles. Triangular in plan, the form is guided by its site-in-space, and by the way in which its temporary inhabitants or passers-by will discover it, occupy or use it. Affording a seated view looking southwest across Willow Lake, it also incorporates an arched walkway through its centre, replete with tiled ceiling.
Research is central to Sarah’s process; a focus on community, materials and skills within specific geographical and socio-economic context tie each project explicitly to its site, its history and people, with works often developed in collaboration with local construction/craft professionals.
Working with Sarah Staton, SCABAL have meticulously set-out Alphonso brick-by-brick: carefully curating the Flemish-bond brickwork together with the tiling; drawing and commissioning the 350 bespoke bricks in 18 types required to achieve the complex geometry.
The bricks themselves are to be produced by nearby traditional brickmakers H G Matthews: made from clay – dug, shaped and fired by wood on their historic family site.
Funded by the developers of the adjacent housing estate, the project is due on site for completion by summer 2020.
(Aerial photo credit: @mb_aerial)
Service: Architects RIBA Stages 3 and 4
Location: Little Callow Mound, Bletchley, UK
Client: Milton Keynes Council
Areas: GFA 6.5 m2
Dates: Winter 2019 – Summer 2021