now complete: anish kapoor's newest 'bean' nestles into the streets of new york

now complete: anish kapoor's newest 'bean' nestles into the streets of new york

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a ‘bean’ for new york

 

At long last, Anish Kapoor‘s first permanent public work in New York reaches completion, the amorphous and reflective sculpture commonly known as The Bean. The work is snugly squeezed beneath the cantilevering slabs shading the base of 56 Leonard Street, the 2017-built ‘Jenga’ tower designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Hill West Architects. It shows clear influence from his well-known Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago — the original ‘Bean.’ Now a recognizable addition to the city’s skyline, the building houses a four-bedroom apartment which Kapoor himself had purchased in 2016. 

new york bean
image © designboom

 

 

the challenging installation

 

Residents in New York’s neighborhood of Tribeca have long been plagued by the sights and sounds of the Bean’s installation, which first began in 2019. While it was no surprise that its fabrication would prove challenging, the colossal artwork was perhaps more complex than anticipated. In fact, the means by which the seamless finish was achieved were both proprietary and without precedent. Overall, the work comprises thirty-eight stainless steel panels, meticulously welded together over a supportive framework. In total, it measures a massive forty-eight feet long and nineteen feet tall, weighing forty tons.

 

After all works had been halted through the COVID pandemic — and resumed in September 2021 — the reflective skin even allegedly ruptured due to heat differences between its shaded and sunlit surfaces. And yet, throughout a string of roadblocks, the Bean has ultimately reached its seamless completion to mark a new sculptural icon for New York.

new york bean
image © designboom

 

 

a moment to reflect

 

The Bean takes shape as a single form, its deep, curved, concave surface reflecting the sky and the cityscape around it. Its stainless steel surface runs in a continuous line, looping around the sculpture’s circumference and creating a distorted abstraction of its context. The sculpture’s reflective surface creates an ever-changing experience for the viewer, encouraging exploration and intrigue as passersby round the corner of Church and Leonard.

 

Anish Kapoor introduces the sculpture, known as The Bean, as a captivating addition to the vibrant sidewalks of Tribeca. In its solitude, the work offers a moment of respite from the city — its reflective surface welcoming passersby to pause and explore the distorted cityscape, themselves immersed in its reflective environment. Thus, the work creates an intimate connection with the viewer. By day, the sculpture is a beacon of light while by night, its reflective surface will be illuminated by its surroundings.

new york bean
image © designboom now complete: anish kapoor's newest 'bean' nestles into the streets of new york
image © designboom

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image © designboom

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