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1 Grosvenor Square, Swarm

Alison Wilding’s relief sculpture is integrated into the retained façade of the development, a scheme for Lodha UK led by Eric Parry Architects. Initiated in 2018 and finally inaugurated in 2023, the commission was slowed down by the pandemic and by multiple permissions that had to be sought.

Swarm comprises two main interrelated elements: a gilded steel
openwork ‘screen’ overlaying three curvilinear forms, the whole work occupying a blank window niche in the facade. The sculpture can be read as an abstract artwork, yet the screen is inspired by birds swarming in flight, while the curvilinear elements reference the oval plan of Grosvenor Square nearby.

Alison Wilding said of her proposal for Swarm:
Looking out of a window, and then attempting to describe the outline of a bird in flight I manipulated some thin brass wires to form a shape that alluded to a bird, a leaf, or a fish. Twenty- three of these shapes form a screen or veil, an upward swarm - diminishing in size as they ascend the window niche, revealing unexpected spaces between each motif.
Maps of Mayfair identify the garden design of Grosvenor Square as an elliptical shape. After drawing an ellipse, I divided it into three sections, each with a slightly different metallic finish, and to be inserted into the background of the window niche - thus bringing the garden into the building.”

The sculpture was fabricated by Benson Sedgwick Engineering with Other People’s Sculpture and installed by Artful Logistics.

Swarm joins other notable public artworks in the area including Portcullis Gates by Wendy Ramshaw at 33 Davies Street, a water feature entitled Silence by Tadao Ando in front of the Connaught Hotel, and a mosaic soffit artwork by Antoni Malinowski on Maddox Street. Alison Wilding’s drinking fountain Herm, Rathbone Place W1 was commissioned in 2018 by Great Portland Estates. 



Alison Wilding

Title of work



Lodha UK


Eric Parry Architects


1 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 4AB



Image credit

Swarm, by Alison Wilding, 2023. Image credit: Todd Sutherland 


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