Conrad Shawcross: ‘It’s created a skin for the surface of this building’
The artist explains his use of the moiré effect in designing an optical cloak for a tall industrial building on the Greenwich Peninsula in south-east London
Conrad Shawcross’s largest-scale project to date, the Optic Cloak is an architectural intervention, commissioned by developer Knight Dragon, in which the sculptor has created aluminium cladding for a flue stack 49 metres tall, 20 metres wide and three metres deep, standing on the roadside on the Greenwich Peninsula in south-east London. Making use of the moiré effect, Shawcross has tessellated triangular panels, creating a disrupted surface that allows light through, causing a flux, or undulation, as if the “cloak” were moving. During the evening, the tower will be lit from within, continually redefining the shape of the structure and its surroundings. Inspirations come from such spheres as maritime camouflage, cubism and op art. The Optic Cloak has been designed in collaboration with the architectural practice CF Møller Architects.
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY