#6 Blue Carpet, Thomas Heatherwick
Completed in 2001, Thomas Heatherwick's Blue Carpet was designed to enhance the exterior of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle Upon-Tyne, England.
Much controversy surrounds the artwork due to the total cost (£1.4 million), final appearance and subjectivity to vandalism and skateboarders.
Although intended as public art for this community space near Newcastle's main shopping areas and nightclubs, the piece lends itself to more of an urban design feature.
Blue Carpet close-up
The design represents a form of skin covering the area, effectively being peeled back at the corners where the tiles curve up to reach the walls. The blue paving slabs are crafted from mixing crushed blue glass with resin. Multiple benches are dotted around the area, seemingly folding up from the ground in a continuation of the carpet's surface and highlighted by coloured lights in sunken glass-topped boxes. A pre-existing staircase at the eastern end of the 'carpet' was replaced with a new design accented with wood ribbons to evoke a curving skin. The staircase was constructed by a local boat builder.
Images: Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent