PARADIGM

Client: The Wellcome Trust / The Francis Crick Institute
Artist: Conrad Shawcross
Fabricator: Benson Sedgwick Engineering Ltd.
Curator: Artwise

 

Paradigm is a monumental sculpture newly installed outside Europe’s largest biomedical research centre, The Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross, London. Whilst the sculpture serves as a totem of knowledge and endeavor, its precarious geometry celebrates the ideas of Thomas Kuhn, who believed that in order for ideas to progress the old paradigms should be toppled by the new.


The structure comprises seventeen weathering-steel tetrahedrons, each 10% larger than the one before, arranged in a radically top heavy tapered ‘tetrahelix’. Artistic intent, engineering detail and the raw marks of fabrication are all in stark evidence. Continuing our long standing collaborative relationship with the artist Structure Workshop was involved from the early competition stage and played a pivotal role in the design: from the development of geometry through to the structural solutions; detailed FE analysis, prototyping, testing and the specification of both fabrication and installation processes.