As of January 16th 1999, Central London has a new, and rather unusual obelisk. The obelisk (6.2metres, just over 20ft) was designed by us for TransCo, British Gas, as a vent stack to let fresh air in and 'foul' air out in the middle of the road at Circus Place, Finsbury Circus in The City of London. It was also to act as a memorial to George Dance, The Younger, who was the architect of Finsbury Circus. It is his portrait that is carved on this obelisk, which is itself modelled on George Dance's own much larger obelisk at St George's Circus near The Imperial War Museum, London.
We designed this obelisk as a hollow, modular structure which appeared to be made from solid natural Portland Stone, but which could be erected quickly - without the need for scaffolding, in the course of a single day. The natural stone panels had reinforced concrete cast onto the back, complete with cast-in lifting sockets, and 'false' joints to make the obelisk appear to be constructed with the joints as they would be if it were constructed in solid stone. The Corporation of London contributed substantially with the funding for this project.
This single stone obelisk with the coat of arms inscribed on it was probably the tallest piece of on-bed (the way it lies naturally in the quarry) Portland Stone that I have ever come accross. It is approximately 2metres (6'7")height and was designed by the sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby - produced by us - as a memorial to the late Earl of Birkenhead.
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