Three types of stone – sandstone, Leicestershire granite and magnesium limestone – occur in the area around the new visitors centre at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Expressing all three in concrete form is an unusual idea. The architects Feilden and Fowles based in London took it even further, experimenting not only with different types of rock but also differing granulation and pigmentation. Last but not least they also had the stripped surfaces jet-washed at pressures ranging between soft, medium and hard to expose the added aggregates at various depths.
Feilden and Fowles had five test sections fabricated altogether according to large-scale drawings provided painstakingly exact details on pigmentation, mixing ratios and textures. Grain sizes vary between 10 und 30 mm and the thickness of the individual layers between 220 and 400 mm. The junctions of the strata also differ in appearance, as some of the layers were poured wet onto wet and others onto hardened concrete. All variations are combined in various ways and were previously tried out on life-size models.
Four of the test walls are now to be seen at the building firm’s site, and the builder himself wishes to conduct further materials research and display the prototypes to future customers. At the Sculpture Park a test wall has been integrated into the north façade of the visitor’s centre in reference to the quarry that used to exist at the site and where millstone grit – a sandstone rock – was once extracted. Numerous millstone grit boulders remain scattered around the grounds to this day, and now stand in dialogue with their little brothers firmly embedded into the reinforced concrete wall at the visitors centre.
See also: https://www.detail.de/artikel/portal-in-der-landschaft-the-weston-von-feilden-fowles-34926/