The History Trees at the Olympic Park

Pentagram has just blogged about its involvement in helping to realise artists Ackroyd & Harvey’s ten typographic tree rings, which have been installed at the Olympic Park in London

Pentagram has just blogged about its involvement in helping to realise artists Ackroyd & Harvey’s ten typographic tree rings, which have been installed at the Olympic Park in London…

The History Trees were unveiled in May (Eliza blogged about them in her round up of art projects at the Olympic Park), and the ten rings are suspended in trees around the Stratford site.

The Olympic Delivery Authority commissioned Ackroyd & Harvey to make a permanent artwork for the Park and the artists worked with Pentagram‘s Harry Pearce and Naresh Ramchandani to design and build the rings, and come up with the passages of text that adorn the inside of each one.

Made from phosphored bronze and stainless steel, and measuring 15m in diameter, each ring tells the story of the area in which it is installed – as “pieces of verbal archaeology,” as Ramchandani puts it on the Pentagram blog.

The texts were informed by stories collected by artist Lucy Harrison along with research provided by the Museum of London. The words themselves are rendered in a redrawn version of Akzidenz Grotesque.

Having not seen them in-situ, however, what remains a little unclear from the images is just how legible the text is from the ground.

At nearly half way up the tree shown above (based on its resting position in the second image), the rings do look to have been hung quite high. Can anyone vouch for their ladderless enjoyment of them? We hope so.

For more details and some further images, see the Pentagram blog, and also Ackroyd & Harvey’s post on the History Trees commission.

Design team:
Pentagram: Harry Pearce, partner-in-charge and designer; Naresh Ramchandani, partner and writer; Jason Ching and Sean Chilvers, designers.
Benson-Sedgwick Engineering Ltd
Expedition Engineering
Hillier Nurseries

Management team:
Adriana Marques, Art and Culture Programme Manager ODA
Claire Gevaux, Olympic Park Legacy Company
Elizabeth Newell Art Consulting

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The August Olympic Special issue of Creative Review contains a series of features that explore the past and present of the Games to mark the opening of London 2012: Adrian Shaughnessy reappraises Wolff Olins’ 2012 logo, Patrick Burgoyne talks to LOCOG’s Greg Nugent about how Wolff Olins’ original brand identity has been transformed into one consistent look for 2012, Eliza Williams investigates the role of sponsorship by global brands of the Games, Mark Sinclair asks Ian McLaren what it was like working with Otl Aicher as amember of his 1972 Munich Olympics design studio, Swiss designer Markus Osterwalder shows off some of his prize Olympic items from his vast archive, and more.

Plus, Rick Poynor’s assessment of this year’s Recontres d’Arles photography festival and Michael Evamy on the genius of Yusaku Kamekura’s emblem for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

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