Willow Tree

A competition winning entry to design a public sculpture for a housing development in East London. A collaborative project with artists Alex Fox and Adam Williamson. The intention was to design an object that both had an identifiable external profile which would provide a central feature and identity to the new square as well as creating an interior space for gathering, play and repose that enjoys its own internal logic.

This part of London was historically forested – the nearby Epping Forest being a remnant. The idea of a tree itself has historic associations with both identifying features in the landscape as well as places of gathering. The willow tree has a particularly accentuated interior contained within its weeping branches.

The form of the sculpture is a radial arrangement of parabolic arches of different dimensions. The arches extend from the centre to varying radii and heights enclosing the space within a perimeter. In aggregate these parabolic elements create a resulting organic form akin to that of a willow tree. The distinctive profile provides a land mark at the centre of the new square, which as well as providing visual interest for the inhabitants gives a means for distinguishing this square from other similar squares in the area. Arches projecting from the centre invite people to enter the space enclosed within the “tree”. This fuzzy interplay between interior and exterior, and form and constituent parts that combine in the whole, create a hard to define object that continues to change as the relationship between the inhabitant and ‘it’ changes.