The Star of Caledonia Design, Gretna Gateway, Charles Jencks Sculpture, Scottish Border

The Star of Caledonia, Gretna, Scotland

English – Scottish Border Sculpture – design by Cecil Balmond, UK

1 Mar 2013

The Star of Caledonia Sculpture

Design: Cecil Balmond

Star of Caledonia Planning Permission Granted

Star of Caledonia Gretna Gateway Scotland
image from architect

Balmond Studio and The Gretna Landmark Trust are delighted to announce that “Star of Caledonia” today received planning approval from Dumfries & Galloway Council. This brings the vision to create a world class landmark, designed by world-leading artist/designer Cecil Balmond and Dumfriesshire’s eminent land artist Charles Jencks, on the border between Scotland and England one step closer.

Star of Caledonia
image from architect

Born out of an idea by Balmond to capture the powerful energy, scientific heritage and magnetic pull of Scotland, the design pays homage to Scottish innovation and particularly James Clerk Maxwell, the pre-eminent Scottish physicist and mathematician.

Star of Caledonia
image from architect

“The brief asked for several metaphors for Scotland. When looking for this impossibility of a people’s identity, what came close for me was the power of their invention; our world owes much to Scottish genius. I thought that the theory of Maxwell’s electromagnetism, intersecting waves, echoed the border crossing.

A sculpture that traces a set of curves but gets intersected and spiked at right angles to the line of travel would reflect Maxwell’s theory. If lights shine from the tips of the spikes a star burst occurs – the brainpower of Scotland.” – Cecil Balmond

Star of Caledonia Star of Caledonia Star of Caledonia Star of Caledonia
images from architect

Scottish – English Border Sculpture images / information from Balmond Studio

7 Jul 2011

The Star of Caledonia in Gretna

Scottish – English Border Gateway Sculpture

Design: Cecil Balmond / Charles Jencks

Cecil Balmond has won the competition to compose a new landmark gateway sculpture for the England / Scotland border. Working with architectural critic, land artist and designer Charles Jencks, Balmond will see his ‘Star of Caledonia’ concept through to realisation in the area of Gretna. The designers were apparently inspired by the ‘powerful energy that is said to emanate from Scotland and the country’s magnetic pull’.

Cecil Balmond clarified: “The Star of Caledonia is a Welcome; it’s kinetic form and light paths a constant trace of Scotland’s power of invention. And I am delighted to be collaborating with Charles Jencks to create an integrated idea of this concept in both landscape and form.”

Charlea Jencks added: “Crossing the border to Scotland, across the River Sark, is now a passage obscured under a bridge by cars travelling at speed. Instead of marking this with motorway signs we are using a landform and sculpture that pulls together the adjacent site, the distant hills and the Solway.”

The Star of Caledonia Sculpture images / information from Balmond Studio

Cecil Balmond

Location: Gretna, Scotland

Architecture in Scotland

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

Architecture Walking Tours by e-architect

Charles Jencks Projects Selection

ueda – eskers on the lawn

Charles Jencks Landscape – Landform Scotland

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Landform Scotland
photo © Adrian Welch

Landform – or Earthworks, or Ueda – won the Gulbenkian Prize in May 2004

This Edinburgh project by world-renowned architecture critic and theoretician, Charles Jencks, (who lives in the Scottish Borders & London) and Terry Farrell & Partners has been followed on the site at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art from initial images to site shots and grand opening.

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Landform Earthworks
photograph © Adrian Welch

Charles Jencks Landform, Scotland : photos

Landform is apparently influenced by Seurat’s famous La Grande Jatte painting from Paris showing families relaxing amidst greenery and water in the heart of the city. Landform by Charles Jencks has proved to be very popular with many, especially children. However, Landform is occasionally closed due to the grass surface which takes some wear and tear, esp. in Winter.

Maggies Centres, UK
Charles Jencks sits on the selection committee with Maggies Centres founder Laura Lee: a key architect selected by Charles Jencks was a friend of the late Maggie Keswick-Jencks, Frank Gehry.

Charles Jencks
Charles Jencks was born in 1939 and although American has a house in London and Dumfriesshire, Scotland; the latter was the home of his wife, the late Maggie Keswick-Jencks, who sadly died of cancer. Maggie came from a notable Scottish family with links to the founding of Hong Kong.

Charles Jencks Books
The Iconic Building
The Language of Post-Modern Architecture
Towards a Symbolic Architecture
The Architecture of a Jumping Universe

Cecil Balmond Projects

ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Olympics – news
Anish Kapoor with Cecil Balmond/Arup

Serpentine Pavilion 2006, London, England
Rem Koolhaas with Cecil Balmond + Arup
Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine Pavilion 2005, London, England
Álvaro Siza & Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond + Arup

Iconic Buildings

Comments / photos for the Star of Caledonia GretnaEnglish Scottish Border Sculpture page welcome