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Artwise x IQL: Lothar Götz and Troika 


The Line’s Curatorial Advisors, Artwise, were commissioned by Lendlease to support the development of two major commissions for the public realm at International Quarter London (IQL). Home to the British Council, Transport for London and Cancer Research UK, IQL is an exciting creative quarter on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and East Bank. Alongside works by Lothar Götz and Troika, other design highlights include a pavilion by ACME, a ‘mobile’ orchard by Tom Massey, Hothouse by Studio Weave and a number of buildings by The Line’s architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Troika’s Labyrinth of a Straight Line at Endeavour Square consists of a labyrinthine, twisting, turning and meandering path of tessellated natural stone. When seen from particular viewpoints, it creates an optical illusion of a three-dimensional architectural structure that appears to protrude from the ground. Passers-by become maze-wanderers by simply following the path from the start to the finish. To formulate this labyrinthine pattern, Troika used an artificial intelligence pathfinding algorithm inspired by the site’s history: a complex network of railway tracks by the Eastern Counties Railway. This algorithm, called ‘Depth First Search’, was first investigated in the 19th century by Charles Pierre Tremaux. It is a surprisingly simple algorithm and step-by-step procedure, which today is used to organise big data and to search data networks making it a fundamental building block for artificial intelligence.

Lothar Götz’s Porte de Couleur at Glasshouse Gardens was conceived by the artist as a ‘continuous line drawing in space’. Porte de Couleur is a gateway sculpture formed of a steel ‘line’ that intersects to form triangles. The ‘walls’ are open structures that frame views through to the landmarks of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The architectural sculpture plays with the changing levels of the land on which it stands by forming slanting parallelograms rather than rectangles. The ‘roof’ is formed by an open geometric structure that holds triangles of different coloured glass that intersect at the corners, allowing natural light to cast coloured shapes and shadows on the ground that are in constant flux depending on the time of day and year.

If you are on The Line in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, don’t miss these installations at IQL!

1 Troika’s Labyrinth of a Straight Line © Hufton + Crow
2 © Conny Freyer
3-4 Lothar Götz’s Porte de Couleur © Michael Franke


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