Wellcome Trust

Things to do, Cultural centres Euston
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Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds. The RIBA award-winning building, which features a vast open-plan design around a light-filled atrium, was designed by Hopkins Architects and completed in 2004.

The building will be open to the public on Saturday September 20, 10am-5pm, as part of Open House London 2014. There will be a talk on ‘Bleigiessen’, the 30 metre high sculpture created by Thomas Heatherwick that occupies a vertical void in the north west corner of the building, as well as activities aimed at families including 'create your own London skyline' sessions.


Venue name: Wellcome Trust
Address: Gibbs Building
215 Euston Rd
Transport: Tube: Euston Sq
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Curated London

Bleigiessen sculpture at Wellcome Trust

Thomas Heatherwick is perhaps best known for the 2012 Olympic Cauldron, or the New Bus For London. Many passengers on the New Bus will have been past this dazzling sculpture on route 14 and never known it was by the same studio.

Biomedical research charity Wellcome commissioned the installation in 2002 for their Euston Road HQ. Bleigiessen (‘lead guessing’) takes its name from the German tradition of dropping molten lead into water and telling your fortune from the resulting shape. Heatherwick used the technique to come up with the design. 

Taking more than two years to plan and three months to install, the organic structure spans the full seven-storey height of the building. It consists of more than 140,000 small glass spheres strung on almost 27,000 stainless steel wires. You can find out the exact numbers, along with the secret behind the spheres’ remarkable colour range, in one of Wellcome’s free tours. 

Tours of Bleigiessen take place on the last Friday of every month at 14:00. They can also be arranged for groups at other times. Tours are free and last around half an hour. For more of the latest art news and reviews, check out http://www.curatedlondon.co.uk