A couple of weeks ago the crack troops of the Hegarty Webber Partnership found themselves engaged on a forced march through the parks of central London complete with backpacks and an arsenal of cameras.

Or to put it another way, Lesley and Robert, in town for the day, thought walking through 3 parks from the Diana Memorial Fountain to the National Theatre on the South Bank was a better bet than facing the Underground.

So amidst all the pomp and gilded glory of  Hyde park Corner, we came across something which just seemed so simple and real:

 

Stark, forbidding, and most certainly not to be ignored, this is ‘The Southern Stand’. It commemorates the relationship between, and joint struggles endured by, New Zealand and United Kingdom, especially in the form of the Two World Wars. It was designed by architect John Hardwick-Smith and sculptor Paul Dibble. You can of course Google for all the details.

What impressed us here was the context. Anything which is a stone’s throw from the Wellington Arch has to work quite hard. Even with the tower block behind it, here it is the sculpture you see.Whereas,

this adjacent, unrealistic, earlier monument glorifies sacrifice, but is dwarfed by today’s buildings.

Here the sculpture integrates with the curve of the bank and the path, which importantly it  just straddles.

Struggle is conveyed by the angle of the verticals, almost like the stakes which Henry V struck into the ground at Agincourt.

You can move amongst it and through it. Indeed you must do so to make any sense of being in the area. As you do so, you see very human vignettes and texts on the side of each bronze column.

As garden designers we are always looking for context,  simplicity,  realism,  juxtaposition and space. Amongst other things!

We thought this an outstandingly successful, sculptural entirety.

Lesley and Robert

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