Galliard Homes has joined forces with the acclaimed artist David Breuer-Weil to unveil Emergence, a series of striking bronze sculptures, forming the centrepiece of a new public piazza with waterfeatures, parterre garden and sculptural seating at Harbour Central in London Docklands. Harbour Central provides 642 private apartments located across five landmark buildings, complete with leisure amenities including concierge, gym, spa, business suites and cinema.
Titled Emergence, David Breuer-Weil’s sculpture depicts a bronze human figure rising out of the ground in four distinct stages. The public artwork consists of four bronze figures standing on four separate stone plinths, forming a key feature of the new public realm at Harbour Central, a central piazza which is designed around a series of infinity pools linked by rill waterfeatures and complete with trees, seating areas, pedestrian boulevards and feature paving in multi-coloured stone.
The focal point of the Harbour Central development is the magnificent Maine Tower, containing 297 apartments, the majority of which are now occupied by buyers. This impressive centrepiece is 42-storeys high and provides studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, including penthouses. Acclaimed international interior designer Nicola Fontanella, of Argent Design, has designed the opulent foyer interior and resident’s lounge. The apartments range in size from 307 sq. ft. to over 1,200 sq. ft. and all benefit from Galliard Homes’ signature specification.
Artist David Breuer-Weil was born in 1965 and studied at Central St Martins and Clare College Cambridge. David Breuer-Weil’s bronze figures are cast in the eternal material of bronze, recalling classical forms, and present a striking mixture of the contemporary and the mythical. For the artist this effect was deliberate – with the strong gaunt shapes of the statues inspired by Docklands history.
David Breuer-Weil took inspiration from the Lightermen, sailors who used to drive small vessels back and forth along the Thames with cargo between the great docked trade ships berthed in London Docklands, a feat that required immense physical strength. The word Lightermen is amongst the lettering carved into the bronze surfaces of the statues.
Emergence, which initially featured on the cover of the New York Times, is a bronze sculpture made up of parts of variable dimensions with the approximate height of the largest figure rising to 180cm, excluding its plinth, and the length of the overall sculpture reaching an impressive 12.95 metres. The four bronze figures possess a jaggedly rugged, almost haunting quality, believable as objects dragging themselves out of the ground, and owe as much to the myths and styles of antiquity they do to contemporary forms.
The sculpture took two years to finalise, including eight months of practical construction and bronze casting, the finished work is now in place for residents and the public to enjoy. The artwork’s theme of regeneration and the synthesis of old and new fits perfectly with Harbour Central’s ultra-modern ‘vertical village’ design and setting in the heart of London’s ancient and now regenerated Docklands.
For David Breuer-Weil public symbols of shared local experiences and history are very important. He studied under the influence of Henry Moore, an artist whose mantra was to stress the connection of landscape and setting.
In David Breuer-Weil’s view art’s importance in a living space is in the way in which it connects architectural to human scale, tying the new residents of the Docklands to the area’s recent history and regeneration. This idea had a powerful impact on his decision to produce a large sculpture made up of relatively simple forms which can be observed from a distance and a number of angles – a theme which unites much of its previous work.
David Breuer-Weil says: “I was really excited to produce a work for Harbour Central, not only because the history of the area is so fascinating but because of the architecture itself – the vast columns at the base of the towers reminded me of ancient Greece and Rome and had an impact on the decision to cast sculptures in bronze. At a challenging time for creative industries I think it’s brilliant that I’ve had this project to work on to contribute to the living area here.”