A Bullet from a Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck

Landmark Project

19 — 27 Sept 2015

Architecture / Landscape, Urban Design

Greenwich Peninsula

Greenwich Peninsula Square


SE10 0SQ

In collaboration with Knight Dragon, the Festival commissioned a major project in the Greenwich Peninsula. Designed by Alex Chinneck, the project was located where Knight Dragon developed a new district for London with 15,000 new homes.

British sculptor Alex Chinneck is renowned for elevating everyday objects and scenarios to surreal monuments, transforming the familiar into the extraordinary. For London Design Festival 2015, he created A Bullet from a Shooting Star, an outdoor installation at Greenwich Peninsula that was testament to the site’s rich industrial history and acted as a visual beacon during the day and night, signifying the site’s future as a new residential district for London. The enormous lattice of steel took the form of an inverted electricity pylon that appeared to have been shot into the ground at a precarious angle. The site-specific installation played with the industrial language of the peninsula, which was once home to the largest oil and gas works in Europe and a steelworks. The work’s construction and materiality reflected that of the historical structures still on site, particularly that of the now-abandoned gas tower. The impressive 35 metre-high structure was visible from a multitude of viewpoints on and surrounding the peninsula, including North Greenwich Station, the Emirates Airline cable car, the Thames Clipper service, Canary Wharf, and all planes that fly to and from City Airport. During the day, the work casted an intricate maze of dynamic shadows across the surrounding roads and footpaths, engaging visitors walking beneath. At night, the pylon was set off against the London skyline as a dynamic beacon of light transitioning from electric white to lava red as a nod the Peninsula's industrial past. A Bullet from a Shooting Star comprised 450 pieces of steel and 900 engineered connection points, all constructed from a combined length of 1186 metres of steel weighing 15 tons. The project was a marvellous feat of engineering made possible in partnership with specialist fabricators and engineers. Supported by Knight Dragon. Further support by SEAM and Traxon Technologies.