The columns, designed as an artistic response to an function engineering requirement, will eventually occupy nine sites at which Tideway is creating new public spaces along the riverbank in the capital.
The form of the five-metre-high sculpture is inspired by flowing water, while each column is inscribed with a poem referencing an aspect of local heritage. These ‘public realm’ sites will also have other public art and bespoke landscaping.
Cast in nickel aluminium bronze, the same alloy used to create ship propellors, the ventilation columns are required to regulate the gases within the super sewer. The twisted form is inspired by computational fluid dynamics modelling how the flows travel down the vortex system and into the main super sewer. The column was cast in the Netherlands and finished in Waltham Forest.
The poem on the Putney column references Beverly Brook, a lost river.