The Beacon of Hope

Exhibition / Installation

Partner Programme

22   —    26 Sep 2021

Architecture / Landscape

Old Street Yard

1 Old Street Yard




This demountable sculpture showcases the structural potential of Bamboo, through a combination of architecture and engineering. It was first delivered, complete with a pavilion canopy, at Rye Nature Reserve, and now morphs into a singular spire of optimism in central London: The Beacon of Hope.

The project is built and designed by artist Joseph Williams and his Bamboology team, with engineering from AKT II. It was originally delivered as part of the ongoing Climate Art programme that’s being led by Rye’s upcoming Bridgepoint arts centre. The sculpture first appeared on the nature reserve’s beach, and takes the form of Rye Harbour’s ubiquitous yellow-horned poppy flower, to highlight how both the beach and the flower are already being lost amidst our present-day global heating. Now, as the public artwork morphs into the much more densely populated setting of central London, the sculpture is streamlined into its single, eight-metre-tall spire. The Beacon of Hope now signals the potential for art, architecture and engineering to together shepherd humanity through this current crisis and into a new era of nurturing our planet. Joseph Williams and AKT II have together innovated several novel design features, though a highly computational approach. Altogether, the construction allows a ‘light touch’ intervention, and leaves no lasting footprint to any natural site. The Beacon of Hope showcases how we can apply high-tech design software to empower low-tech, natural materials.