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Spirit of Place installation

Project Year



Castlefield Forum- Saul Hay Gallery

Lazerian, in collaboration with Daren Newman, created an inspiring art installation in the Castlefield Forum plot of the Castlefield Viaduct Sky Garden. The viaduct, a striking Victorian-era steel structure in the heart of historic Manchester, has been transformed into a green ‘sky park’ as part of a 12-month pilot project, offering visitors the opportunity to explore and share ideas about the future of this historic landmark.

Full view of Manchesters sky garden in Castlefield with the main focus on the artwork in the centre. Designed and created by Manchester artist and designer Lazerian
Colourful and bright purple flowers on display at castlefield viaduct in Manchester. As part of Bespoke Typeface Creation: Capturing Castlefield Viaduct's Identit
Art sculpture close up of lettering that has been plasma cut displayed at its home at the sky garden at Castlefield Viaduct

Liam and Daren, who designed a bespoke typeface for the installation, visited the site several times to get a true feel of the area. Inspired by the connection to steel boats and industrial heritage, the art piece was made from Corten steel, tying in with the steel construction of the viaduct. As the piece ages, it will take on its own rusty patina, blending with the surroundings.

The collaboration on the Castlefield Viaduct art installation was a true labour of love. To create a bespoke typeface that perfectly represented the site, the duo made several on-site visits, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and soaking up the area’s industrial history. By closely examining the details of the site, they were able to create a typeface that truly spoke to the area’s identity. Inspiration was also taken from the steel boat barges and canal boats that once played an important role in the area’s transportation. The result is a beautiful, unique font that perfectly complements the art installation and reflects the rich heritage of the Castlefield Viaduct.

Letter design inspiration -2 different styles of slightly different fonts.
Design sheet of ideas for Castlefield Viaduct sky garden lettering with parts of different styles of fonts

At Lazerian, environmental sustainability is at the heart of their projects. With climate change being the biggest threat to our natural and historic landscapes, it was important for the team to do their part in ensuring the project had an environmentally sustainable approach. Therefore, when Castlefield Forum and Saul Hay Gallery approached them to create a central art installation, they saw it as a project worth working on.

The new elevated garden is a much-needed slice of nature, completely free-of-charge to enter, with a variety of stunning plants and flowers completely taking over the space and giving it a whole new lease of life

A close up of a computer mocked up design of a rusty patina art work which is now on display at Castlefield Viaduct
Site visit to castlefield Viaduct. A before photo of the bridge area which shows a messy garden area and path
Liam Hopkins- WIP site visit to Castlefield Viaduct with the old garden and path in the background

spirit of place statement

"The Castlefield Viaduct is such an iconic part of Manchester’s heritage, so it’s fantastic to see the National Trust’s plans for breathing new life into this landmark and I look forward to working with them to make this a reality. Greater Manchester's parks and green spaces have been a lifeline over the pandemic, and we've all been reminded of how important access to nature is, which is why I'm committed to creating greener, more liveable communities." Andy Burham- Mayor of Manchester

The concept of the spirit of place is rooted in the idea that a particular location has a unique character, atmosphere, and history that influences the way people experience it. This idea is often explored in art and design, and it was also the driving force behind the art installation in Castlefield viaduct.

The spirit of place statement is a reflection of what Castlefield means to the people who know it best. It was created through a collaborative process that involved input from a wide range of individuals, including local residents, business owners, and community leaders. The statement captures the essence of the area, highlighting its rich history, vibrant culture, and unique character.

Digital image of Spirit of Place art sculpture with the copy wrote by Castlefield resident lasercut into the design.
Full front view of the design of the artwork by Lazerian and Daren Newman on a digital mockup.

The statement inspired Lazerian to use it as the main purpose of its artwork. By incorporating the spirit of place statement into the installation, Lazerian was able to create a work of art that is not just visually striking but also deeply meaningful. The installation is a celebration of the people, culture, and history of Castlefield, and it serves as a powerful reminder of what makes this area so special.

In summary, the spirit of place statement was a key element in the art installation in Castlefield viaduct. By incorporating the thoughts and feelings of the local community, Lazerian was able to create a work of art that is not just aesthetically pleasing but also deeply rooted in the culture and history of the area. The installation serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of community and the value of celebrating the unique character of a particular location