A five-metre (16 foot) high stainless steel sculpture, Needle Point, destined to become a landmark in St Modwen Developments’ £16 million Shrub Hill Retail Park ‘gateway’ scheme in Worcester, today (August 29) began
its journey on a pontoon towed by a tug through the Docks into the centre of Bristol.
The freestanding sculpture commissioned by St Modwen and designed by Bristol-based artist Paul Juillerat, who has a suspended work, Sails, inside Birmingham’s newest attraction, Millennium Point, was unveiled at a
champagne launch at St Augustans Reach, Bristol.
Needle Point, which has been designed to reflect the surrounding cityscape in its intended Worcester location, will be transported to its final destination by road with a police escort at the end of September.
Today’s journey began at Ables Shipbuilders yard on Spike Island, Bristol Docks, where the sculpture was constructed. The sculpture passed through a raised footbridge, also built by Ables, on its way to the city centre
mooring for the launch.
Nick Kay, development surveyor in charge of the canalside Shrub Hill Retail Park project for St Modwen, said: “This splendid innovative work of art will be sited adjacent to Shrub Hill station at the new gateway into Worcester. It will no doubt quickly become a big attraction for visitors and shoppers alike when the retail park at Tallow Hill opens before Christmas.
“Needle Point is one of two pieces of public art we have commissioned from Paul Juillerat for the park which will transform a run-down area of Worcester city centre.”
Mr Juillerat, describing his sculpture, said: “The design is derived from several of the elements identified around the site and Worcester as a whole. I’ve used the idea of a spire, reflecting the surrounding cityscape, to
create a pinnacle focus to the sculpture.
“It is topped off from several views by the ‘eye of the neddle’ echoing the city’s connection with the glove industry and also mirroring the needle spire of the church in the distance.”
He added that the sculpture has a tripod effect and cut into the three sides are ellipse-shaped holes to provide views of the city and surrounding countryside.
The initial phase of the £16.35 million Shrub Hill Retail Park development has this summer involved the removal of a hump-backed bridge over the Birmingham & Worcester Canal to be replaced with a new road link and bridge, and will include the provision of a new canal footbridge and new length of towpath.
St Modwen is developing seven retail units and a pub/restaurant totalling 83,000 sq ft in the Retail Park which has already attracted Wickes, Staples, Tiles R Us, Dreams, Wilsons Pets and Carphone Warehouse.
The Retail Park site was assembled around the former Marley Cooling Tower No 4 Works, part of Shrub Hill Industrial Estate, which St Modwen continues to own. The retail scheme to improve a rundown area of Tallow Hill was allocated in the City of Worcester Local Plan in 1995.
St Modwen Developments is also currently undertaking Access 18, a 75-acre distribution development scheme close to Junction 18, M5 at Avonmouth, Bristol.
For further information contact Nick Kay of St Modwen on 0121-456-2800.
Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121-236-7771).