Teeside Retail Park

As a team member at Tomato, we designed a series of interventions to be integrated into Teeside Retail Park. Our approach is to propose and create interventions around which people can gather, share experiences and create their own associations and memories. People make places.

We tried to bring forward the industrial nature of the region as well as its exciting technological growth and  prospects. For some parts of the retail park, various options were designed.



The Heart

For the main public space, our inspiration was “The Arc of the Spark“.

Suspended above the heads of the users of the retail park, the arcs are rendered highly polished, thin, square section stainless steel twisted on its central axis to create a facetted, reflective surface. The sculpture is illuminated by programmable pin-spotlights that “sweep” along the arcs.



A Spark is a chain reaction / molecules are a network. Our second proposal involves a chain reaction. A canopy carries thousands of domino like modules above the visitors. The first domino tips over igniting a chain reaction of movement along with the resulting sound and light effects as byproducts. Then the modules slowly rise again via a simple mechanism, to start the next chain reaction, it almost becomes a time telling spectacle.




Playable Sculptures

All digital code is rendered as binary: ones and zeros. This piece uses the language of the digital and recreates it as an analogue “playable” sculpture. So the building blocks of the digital future, usually invisible, are magnified here – but in this sculpture they are rendered as bells. This is a variation running a stick along a fence, but in diatonic majors small enough in scale for little hands, big enough to create ringing harmonic tones.


Mirror Boxes / Play Boulders

Polished steel, siderite, hematite iron ore boulders, or composition of smaller stones to create a massive sculptural presence with a geological, organic form. These elements combine a rough and natural exterior, evoking the base material with which Teesside built itself, with a crisp mirror finish interior of high grade, specialist stainless steel. Both ends of the industrial process are represented here as well as the connection across a geological timespan that connects the place to industry and to the people.



Gateway Artwork

The fence will run in three layers and each layer is pierced. As we move past the fence, parallax between the layers of the fence animates the fence. The three layers of the fences can be lit from within, creating an animated set of surfaces that appear differently depending on ambient light levels, time of day, weather, and your speed when passing the fence.  This is a narratively sound addition to the landscape. Not an illustration of an object, but the objectification and beautification of the materials themselves, using and exposing the invisible structural beauty of the materials from which Teesside’s past, present and future is and will be made.