Square the Block - Atlas Obscura

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Square the Block

A jumble of concrete on the corner of one of London’s terraced buildings is actually a work of art. 


People who look up while passing by the intersection of London’s Kingsway and Sardinia Street may notice, on the corner of one of the buildings, a weird spherical mass that looks like it’s composed of leftover segments of the wall behind it.

Given the proximity to the Hunterian Museum, some people may think that this object resembles a cancerous tumor from the museum. However, more astute people may recognize this as a piece of modern art, although the reason why it’s in this location may not immediately be clear.

The object is a sculpture called Square the Block by contemporary artist Richard Wilson. Wilson specializes in both architectural-related works and works with repeating patterns, and Square the Block exhibits both of these properties. The sculpture was commissioned by the London School of Economics and installed in 2009 on the corner of the university’s New Academic Building, which is at the periphery of the university.

The sculpture initially attracted a lot of attention when it was first installed, but now it seems to blend into the cityscape, seemingly unnoticed by most people except for both students of modern art and attentive tourists.

Know Before You Go

Square the Block is visible from Kingsway at all times of day. The location is easily accessed by public transport and is a 15 minute walk from several tourist areas, including Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, the British Museum, and Covent Gardens.

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