Art in the parks set to be a thrill on Primrose Hill

A PLAN to build a house on the picturesque slopes of Primrose Hill has surprisingly been given the thumbs-up from nearby residents

Ben McPartland

A PLAN to build a house on the picturesque slopes of Primrose Hill has surprisingly been given the thumbs-up from nearby residents.

That is partly because the construction known as The Wind House is just a sculpture, and will only be installed on the beauty spot from July until October.

The Wind House, which will be 7.1m in length and 3.5m high, has been designed by one of Poland's most highly regarded contemporary artists, Monika Sosnowska.

Made from wood with a steel interior, the sculpture has been designed specifically for its location in the south east corner of the park near St Edmund's Terrace.

Malcolm Kafetz, chairman of the Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, said: "It's not costing the park anything, it's only there for three months and it's an interesting concept. Whether we completely approve of it or not is another matter.

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"The artist is not a novice. She is well regarded and has a good following. Until we can actually see it in place we cannot really tell what it will be like. It will be for the general public to judge whether they like it or not."

Ms Sosnowska brings her imagination to Primrose Hill after previously exhibiting work in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The Wind House will be part of London-wide project Portavilion, which will place sculptures in four different parks across the capital during the summer.

Richard Simpson from the Primrose Hill Conservation Area Advisory Committee said: "It will be interesting to see how children react to it, because they will all be clambering over it.

"In my opinion this type of temporary sculpture is OK, but Primrose Hill is a really popular place for children who come from all around to play.

"I would express some concerns about that because we don't want to do anything that takes away from kids playing safely."

When the Ham&High took to the slopes to show pictures of the sculpture to walkers, the plan received mixed reactions.

Roberta Derosa, 30, said: "I think it is a good idea. Why not? I like contemporary art, so why not in parks where everybody can see it?"

Tim Wansbrough, 31, said: "I am not enamoured with this sculpture. It is not an amazing one where I go 'wow!' But, in general, sculpture to promote parks is a very good idea. They could have chosen a more acceptable one."

Camden Council's arts and tourism department, which has made the planning application for the sculpture, has given reassurances over safety concerns.

Principal arts development officer Piers Masterson said: "The environmental context, security issues and health and safety have all been considered within the structural design.

"The steel framework will be fixed to the ground using five grouted soil nails. Both the engineers Atelier One and the Royal Parks have agreed that this method of installation has minimum impact on the site, with no foundations or excavations needed."

Visit to see full details of the project.