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david attenborough building

commissioner: university of cambridge

artists: ackroyd & harvey

Slate design on facade of building

Ackroyd and Harvey were appointed in 2016 by the University of Cambridge to work with Nicholas Hare Architects on the redevelopment of the iconic Arup Building. Part of the wider development of the New Museums site, the building now accommodates the Museum of Zoology and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and has been renamed the David Attenborough Building.

Two external slate works were commissioned for the building which stands on the site of the original Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  Slate Work South takes inspiration from an historic black walnut tree in the Botanic Garden with Slate Work East being a reinterpretation of the Fibonacci sequence.  Both works incorporate habitats for bats, bees, spiders and other insects.

An exhibition of their work ‘Conflicted Seeds + Spirit’ was also included in the public art programme.  This included previous works and several new projects developed in partnership with the Museum of Zoology and the Botanic Garden.

The project was the first of a series of artist commissions for site which will be integrated into the ongoing development.

Images (Top): 'Slate Work South' and 'Slate Work East' by Ackroyd & Harvey (and details)
Photographs: Toby Smith courtesy of the artists

Images: 'Seeing Red...Overdrawn', 'Conflicted Seeds' and 'Into the Blue' by Ackroyd & Harvey
Photographs: Courtesy of the artists


© Commission Projects 2019