Dezeen Magazine

Installation of loop-shaped metallic artwork

Paul Cocksedge draws on London's "huge mix of cultures" for Whitechapel installation

British designer Paul Cocksedge has created Loop, a large sculpture made from steel and metallic fabric that is draped from the ceiling in London office building The Rowe.

The art installation, which was designed to occupy the lobby of the building in a creative way, comprises large loops of steel and metallic fabric that reach up to 5.5 metres in length.

Art installation by Paul Cocksedge at The Rowe
Loop hangs from the ceiling inside office building The Rowe

Loop's design, which resembles a single thin piece of metal fabric, was informed by the area surrounding The Rowe.

The development is located in Whitechapel, east London, a culturally diverse neighbourhood that used to be known for its clothing and textile manufacture.

Loop art installation at The Rowe
It is made from metal and fabric

"Once you hit Whitechapel Road going into the city, it's a real demonstration of London's huge mix of cultures," Cocksedge told Dezeen.

"You get a glimpse of the past, the present and the future, and particularly in Whitechapel you see that," he added.

"There's such a burst of colour and texture and patterns, with things on display in shop windows and stalls, and sparkling pieces of jewellery dangling. It's a real melting pot of materiality, colour and culture."

Interior of The Rowe with Loop installation
Paul Cocksedge drew on Whitechapel's history for the installation

The installation's metallic materials and colours are also a nod to the building's history as a bell foundry.

To construct the loops – one of which also functions as a seat – Cocksedge worked with a UK-based company to create a hybrid fabric made from structural cotton.

This acts as a load-bearing element and is sandwiched between two layers of thinner metallic-coloured cotton.

"We wanted the person to be a focal point of the artwork, which posed a challenge in terms of fabrication," Cocksedge said. "We needed a material that was both decorative and structural."

Close-up of The Loop installation at The Rowe
The fabric loops can support visitors' weight

Steel elements support the fabric loops so that they can hold the weight of visitors. As the lobby of the building is open for anyone to come in and see the sculpture, the interactive aspect was an important part of the design.

"Public art is often untouchable," Cocksedge said. "But sometimes when you're in a public space, allowing people to become involved adds a completely different dimension and creates an emotional, and hopefully more memorable, experience."

Artist Paul Cocksedge at The Rowe
The installation is 5.5 metres at its longest point

As well as Loop, The Rowe also houses another large-scale art installation by London designer Yinka Ilori. The building, which formerly held the London Met School of Art, Architecture and Design, was renovated and expanded by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Previous works by Cocksedge include another loop-shaped installation, the Time Loop in Hong Kong, as well as an undulating communal bench in London.