Astragal: Centre point’s embellished characters
The Architects' Journal

Astragal: Centre point’s embellished characters


Whatever happened to the 2m-tall lettering taken from the top of Centre Point during its recent restoration?

As the Conran and Partners-let revamp began in 2015, the letters from the 34th of R Seifert and Partners’ Grade II-listed central London skyscraper were demounted and handed to a group of artists including Gavin Turk and Mark Wallinger to embellish.

Talking about the unusual commission, the late sculptor Nancy Fouts, who died shortly after completing her artwork, said: ‘The letter was so heavy it took three men to bring it into my garden. My thought was to make it into sailors’ beadwork, so I removed the electrics and Perspex, painted the metal to make it look like wood and filled the inside with foam.

‘I used whatever I found in the studio to adorn it. It tickled me to decorate something so gigantic with tiny beads and trinkets.’

Nancy’s letter ‘N’ and the other 10 transformed letters from the Tottenham Court Road office tower-turned-luxury-flats are now being put up for auction by developer Almacantar. Proceeds will go to homelessness charity Centrepoint. Meanwhile, identically shaped and sized replacement letters with all-new LED lamps have been installed on the tower.