AESOP LAMBS CONDUIT STREET (Environment, 2015) London

(read more ...)
...back to previous page

Water moves through this place.

A quiet reverence for water. WATER as THE material.
 The catalyst of many Aesop products and the heart of the street for centuries. After all, it was the flow of water that connected Lambe and Conduit.

( See ) the dancing, rippling reflections. Elusive yet constant.

A feeling of Permanence, that is right and good without having to prove itself. A contemplative place. Calm. Composed.

Copper vessels carry the water. 24 square metres, 612 folds, 160 corners brazed, cleaned, filed and polished into 38 connected shelves.

(The store is) Grounded in baked earth. A study in Staffordshire Blue quarry tiles. The colour of bridges.

The hues and tones are drawn from the local area and its history. Dora Carrington from the Bloomsbury set. Her ‘Female figure standing from 1913’ – the colours of fleshy figures. Naked. Bathing. Their pale and delicate opulence whispers of the reverence of skin.

As you move through the store, and leave London’s chatter behind, small steps lead to a dark enveloping space, before revealing a quiet garden room.

(There’s) Time – To stop. 
Creeping greenery stakes claim. Understated but enduring benches and coat stands are punctuation marks. Their presence makes it a place to stay in.

( Listen and ) Hear – The gentle flow of water. Controlled – and deliberate.

The sound would delight the spirit of William Lambe – he brought water here in 1577 – rebuilding an underground conduit– and so the street was named in his honour.

It may invoke the interest of Alfred Stanley Foord. In his book ‘Springs, streams and Spas of London’, from 1910 he wrote “…some residents obtained leave to lay a small pipe or ‘quill’ – probably as the name implies not exceeding a goose quill in diameter…”

A Quill of water. (Calmy, quietly, disrupting the space with beautiful reflections)

A place where the past converges with the present. Ancient elements that have, and will, exist through time.

Here and now – momentary echoes of water and light reflect.

The springs of London still flourish.

APPENDIX
( HISTORY – 1577 )
He brought water to this street. William Lambe. In recognition of the funds he gave for the rebuilding of the Holborn conduit.
“…some residents obtained leave to lay a small pipe or ‘quill’ – probably as the name implies not exceeding a goose quill in diameter – connecting the conduit with their grounds…” ‘Springs, streams and Spas of London’, 1910, by Alfred Stanley Foord

( COPPER CONDUITS )
Numerous. Intensive. Processes.
24 square metres of copper. 38 shelves, 73 inserts.
612 folds, 160 corners brazed, cleaned, filed and polished.
30 conduits. Individually. Numbered. For each a custom made copper washer, silver soldered to copper downpipes.
42 linear metres of copper conduit, 172 litres of flowing water. 13.6 linear metres of exposed water. 56.5 linear metres of copper pipe, exposed, concealed. 34 linear metres of product display.

( THE COLOUR OF COPPER )
Alchemy. Oxidisation. Patination.
CLEANING. Scrubbing, scratching, washing, drying. AGAIN. Cleaning, scrubbing, scratching, washing, drying.
OXIDISING. Submerge, time, revolve, remove.
AGAIN. Submerge, time, revolve, remove.
CLEANSE. Bathe, wait, time, wash. AGAIN. Bathe, wait, time, wash. AGAIN. Bathe, wait, time, wash.
DRY. Softly, gently, dry. Blow. Compressed air. Clean the crevices. Softy, gently, dry.
SEAL. Thoroughly. Natural wax. Apply, rub, buff. AGAIN. Apply, rub, buff.

( DEFYING GRAVITY )
128 custom steel brackets. Cut, measure, drill, forge, fold, file, clean, patinate, clean, heat, melt, wax, cool, buff.
Measured, levelled, drilled, fixed. 384 screw fixings.

( BEHIND THE SCENES )
Custom made devices. Monitoring. Controlling the flow. Handmade water filters. Woven by hand from brass mesh.

( A QUILL OF WATER )
A room of its own. Water drops. Slowly. Serenly. Surrounded by dark tones. Inky. Watery. Illuminated. Rippling reflections on walls and ceiling. One drop followed by another (repeat).

( INTO THE GARDEN ROOM )
A place to stop. Patina. Antique campaign furniture, mid century crucibles, Victorian pot stands. Leaves, stretching, claiming space.
Appendix continue

( A PLACE TO PURCHASE )
As if it always existed. Church pew benches. Worn. By years of seated bottoms. Bespoke wooden panelling. Layers. And layers of paint. Burnished edges. Painted. And waxed.

( A PLACE TO WASH )
Control the water. A gentle flow. Take time. Relish the ritual. Sinks & taps. Custom made. Copper sheet – folded, brazed, cleaned, filed, polished. Raw finish. Patinating naturally. Copper pipes – formed, hardened, cleaned, polished. Brass handles – cut, brazed, cleaned filed polished.

( A FLOOR OF BAKED EARTH )
Reclaimed quarry tiles. Staffordshire Blues.
One thousand, nine hundred and forty four tiles.
( HUES & TONES )
The colours of fleshy figures. Naked. Bathing. Dark, inky water. Dora Carrington, Female figure standing, 1913