Work on 56 Leonard Street‘s amorphous mirrored “bean” sculpture has begun. The artwork sits at the base of Tribeca‘s tallest residential skyscraper designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Hill West Architects, and is the work of Anish Kapoor, the creator behind Chicago’s chrome steel-plated Cloud Gate and the ArcelorMittal Orbit from the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Construction workers are beginning to place the first portions of the bean into position with multiple sections arriving on site.
Photos below show the activity at the site late last week.
Each orange peel-shaped piece is arriving tightly wrapped in a protective black plastic and being lifted with a telescopic crane onto the sidewalk. Meanwhile, a structural frame has been built underneath one of the cantilevering floor plates by the main lobby with a lightweight steel truss system that will form the interior support for the bean.
The bean will be wedged in between the sidewalk and the underside of the second story. It will be interesting to see how each piece will come together and form the appearance of a continuous surface. Placing the sculpture right on the sidewalk will make it especially conspicuous and hard to miss.
56 Leonard Street makes a prominent impression on the Lower Manhattan skyline thanks to its staggered and offset pattern of the cantilevered balconies. This visual effect is best seen looking north and south, while the east and west elevations make the glass and concrete edifice appear more straight and uniform.
No announcement has been made on when the installation process will be finished.