Pentagram has created a film, book and poster to launch The Optic Cloak, a new architectural installation by sculptor Conrad Shawcross in London’s Greenwich Peninsula. The 160 ft high structure is designed to conceal the flues of a new energy centre that will heat 15,000 homes and businesses in the area.
The journey to The Optic Cloak began two years ago when Shawcross – the youngest member of the Royal Academy of Arts – won a competition to find an artist to transform the flues of the centre, which would have otherwise been an eyesore. Inspired by the camouflage used on dazzle ships during the First World War and by animals in the wild, Shawcross sought to use to moire effect to create a structure that would hypnotically blend into its environment. His idea was to create a 4mm-thick ‘skin’ of perforated aluminium to cover the flues. This skin is made out of interlocking triangles, creating a shimmering and rippling addition to East London’s horizon.
Pentagram documented The Optic Cloak’s journey, from the origination of Shawcross’ concept through to its research, prototype and build. The film and book separate each of these stages, giving each equal weight in the creation of this monumental structure. Their aim was to create an engaging narrative that would do justice to the vision and ambition needed to create a new and iconic landmark in London’s Skyline.