Moore Outside – Time-Life Screen, New Bond Street
Time-Life Screen 1952–3
Time Life Building
153–7 New Bond Street
London W1Y 0AA
When Henry Moore started on the Time Life Screen he saw it as an exciting problem to solve. He thought the screen should look like it was part of the architecture since it is part of the building. It should feel like a natural continuum. But it also was just a screen, a kind of balustrade with a terrace behind it, not a solid part of the building.
Moore wanted there to be no mistake about that and decided to carve fully 3D; four pieces with a front and a back and sides, all with space around them so the light can come through the stone. He definitely didn’t want anything pictorial which he said would be like ‘hanging up a stone picture’ or ‘like using the position only as a hoarding for sticking on a stone poster…’ Instead he based the pieces on his perceived rhythm of the architecture. He wanted them to project from the building as if they were escaping.
Long before the carvings were ready he had to decide on the shape and size of the openings. When he worked on them in his garden in Perry Green he realised they didn’t need a screen, they could stand on their own. By then the screen had been built and put in position. He tried to get a turntable for each of the carvings, so they could be turned once a month, each to a different view. All he could do was make the openings as large as possible without weakening the structure of the screen.
He said he felt the time was coming that sculptors and architects to work together again (although that was in 1955 – quite a little while ago).
Download the mp3 for your journey: time_life_screen_new_bond_street.mp3 14.3 MB
I always walk to the Time life Screen from Hamleys toyshop on Regent Street. From there cross the road and go down Conduit Street. Turn left onto New Bond Street. Stand between the Burberry and Louis Vuitton shops and look up to the other side of the street.
Here’s one of my personal maps. Bring it with you, it will help you find your way.