140 Boomerangs

Description from the architects:

“140 Boomerangs” is a project made up of modular Boomerang-elements which may be assembled in various permutations. It is able to create site specific, fluid, playful forms but from a simple element which is simple to assemble and re-assemble.

With the help of 140 local primary school children, the first home of the boomerangs was a helical timber structure, inhabited by local children’s clay sculpture creatures, which wrapped the “Peace” fountain at the centre of West Smithfield during the London Festival of Architecture 2006.

Inspired by the garden’s character, we wrote a magical story which imagined a history to the statue and fountain, and a calling for an exhibition of creatures from the subterranean water-world: Binnanbrim. The story plays into the significance of clean water sources in London’s history and to fountains’ significance in place making.

We held 9 workshops with a total of 140 children where we told them the story and, giving each child a block of clay, asked them to make a sculpture of a magical creature from Binnanbrim. Our aim was to play on and intensify the site as an urban retreat and through the children’s sculptures offer up fantasies to visitors of the Biennale and passers-by.

The second homes of the Boomerangs were as play-furniture in Queen Street in the City of London and in the playgrounds of each of the three local schools that took part in the workshops.

To realise this project, we worked with a number of construction professionals as well as primary schools and sponsors. As this project was funded entirely through sponsorship, it was subject to very tight cost constraints. As such, as well as acting as designers, we also sought sponsorship both in cash and in kind, without which the project would not have been possible. We were also responsible for costing the project and seeking advice and consultants as required. As the project was part of the London Architecture Biennale ’06, we had to work to a tight and fixed deadline.

We worked with London Metropolitan University Projects Office who provided us with project management advise; with Akera Engineers for the structure; with Jackson Coles to ensure the project was delivered on time and to budget; and with the City of London Corporation from whom, along with Finnforest Merk, The Fixers and many others, we raised the sponsorship required to deliver the project.

“140 Boomerangs” has since been exhibited as part of Architecture Week 2007, “Public City” at New London Architecture, and “Making Space” as part of the London Design Festival 2006. Studio Weave has also been awarded the KPF / Architecture Foundation Travel Award, the “Prize for Social Entrepreneurship” by LondonMet, and “Best Overall Delivery” by the National Architecture Student Festival 2006, for the project. It was following the success of this project that we were able to secure new commissions and formally set up our practice.

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