Lunch Break – an installation of 40 gilded angels resting on swings outside St Paul’s Cathedral – has been unveiled as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
Designed by creative architecture studio KHBT in collaboration with artist Ottmar Hörl, the new public sculpture is the result of a design competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and the Cheapside Business Alliance. By suspending the angels high above passers-by on randomly arranged bars, KHBT and Ottmar Hörl have made imaginative re-use of the ‘St Paul’s Plinth’, which was first created by ScottWhitbyStudio and Arup for the LFA in 2018.
As the London Festival of Architecture explores ‘boundaries’ as its theme for 2019, the project celebrates what can happen at the creative boundary of art and architecture, as well as providing a charming and eye-catching temporary landmark for the City of London. The piece creates a strong conceptual and visual link to St Paul’s Cathedral, and the golden cross on top of the dome in particular. The rich interior and ornamental nature of the Cathedral is reflected by the intricate detail of each sculpted angel.
KHBT with Ottmar Hörl overcame competition from a field of 22 entries and impressed the judging panel comprising India Block (Architecture reporter, Dezeen), Ruth Duston OBE (executive director, Cheapside Business Alliance), Marc Easton (Senior Structural Engineer, Arup), Simon McGinn (City Property Advisory Team Manager, City of London Corporation), Alex Scott-Whitby (director,ScottWhitbyStudio), Clarisse Tavin (Group Manager, Major Programmes and Projects, City of London Corporation) and Tamsie Thomson (Director, London Festival of Architecture).
Karsten Huneck, partner at KHBT, said:
“We are delighted to be able to team up with our long-standing collaborator Artist Ottmar Hörl to implement “Lunch Break”. It is an emotional and imaginative piece that is aiming to make people think and smile. After all we feel that in this particular time guardian angels deserve some rest.”
Tamsie Thomson, director of the London Festival of Architecture said:
“Lunch Break is a delightful installation, and a fantastic winner of our competition to find new work for the St Paul’s Plinth. In the midst of the bustle and noise outside St Paul’s tube station, Lunch Break offers a moment of calm, and a chance to contemplate boundaries – whether those between art and architecture or even that between daily life and the afterlife. At the London Festival of Architecture we see our role as disrupting experiences in the city, and Lunch Break is a wonderful way of doing just that.”
Ruth Duston OBE, OC Executive Director, Cheapside Business Alliance said:
“We are thrilled to be launching Lunch Breakat the St Paul’s Plinth. This year’s activity, which is part of the LFA, builds on the success of the St Paul’s Gateway installation, which has already transformed the experience of people arriving to the area. The new Lunch Break artwork with its stunning angels will be a talking point, a photo opportunity or simply something that makes our thousands of visitors smile. It reflects the changing nature of the City, with world class leisure, culture and art sitting comfortably alongside the financial heart of the capital.”
Alastair Moss, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said:
“As a home to some of the most recognisable designs in the world, this project will be yet another opportunity to shine a light on the iconic landmark that is St. Paul’s Cathedral, while demonstrating the pool of talent that makes London a hub of creativity.”