Levitating building melts minds in London's Covent Garden

20 pictures

Take my lightning but don’t steal my thunder by British artist Alex Chinneck (Photo: Jeff Moore)

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We've covered a number of unusual architecture projects here at Gizmag, but Alex Chinneck's latest creation is probably the first that appears to levitate. Following his sliding facade project in Margate, England, the British artist is back and wowing visitors to London's Covent Garden with Take my lightning but don’t steal my thunder: a melding of architecture and art that features a market building apparently floating 3m (10 ft) in mid-air.

The 12 m (40 ft)-long prefabricated building is constructed mostly from CNC-cut polystyrene, and features a large gash in the middle, with the top half of the building apparently left unsupported – though eagle-eyed readers may cast suspicion on a conveniently-situated green cart resting against the outside of the building.

A 14 tonne (15.68 US tons) steel framework and a 4 tonne (4.48 US tons) counterweight were used to support the structure, and Chinneck employed a team of specialists including architectural consultants, structural engineers, steel fabricators, carpenters, and set builders, to help build it. The installation was transported to Covent Garden in pieces by truck and assembled within four days.

"My objective was to create an accessible artwork that makes a harmonious but breath-taking contribution to its historic surroundings, leaving a lasting and positive impression upon the cultural landscape of Covent Garden and in the minds of its many visitors," says Chinneck. "The hovering building introduces contemporary art to traditional architecture, performing a magic trick of spectacular scale to present the everyday world in an extraordinary way."

Take my lightning but don’t steal my thunder will be on display to the public in Covent Garden's East Piazza until October 24, and Chinneck will explain the process behind the construction in detail when he appears in Covent Garden on October 15.

Check out the gallery and video below for some further insight into how it was made.

View gallery - 20 images

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