Square the Block (2009) is a major architectural intervention, which has been installed on the corner of one of the London School of Economics’ most prominent buildings. The sculpture appears to an abstraction of the corner that both mimics and subtly subverts the existing façade of the building. The stonework looks as if it has been jumbled and crumpled up, then just reattached to the building. It deliberately upsets the perception of the building from something quietly solid and dignified into something unsettling and fallible.
The corner of the building was actually originally chamfered, this allowed Richald Wilson to construct elements that projected from it. Then to construct the artwork, the artist, working with engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, created copies of a number five-storey vertical slices from the neighbouring buildings. Moulds were taken from these and the resultant casting fixed to a three-dimensional aluminium truss , which was six storeys in height and approximately triangular. The pieces of the sculpture were constructed from a water-based acrylic composite: Jesmonite. This was selected because it was economical to produce, light enough to be carried by the existing building structure and had a close visual match to the Portland stone cladding. The completed sculpture assembled on the ground and the complete piece lifted into place. It was hung on the side of the building from the fifth floor only and tied back to the building at second and sixth floors for stability.
The sculpture makes no architectural and functional sense other than matching the cornice work and completing the corner. Its position means that it is sometimes unnoticed, overlooked and therefore the moment of incongruity and recognition is often delayed and thus amplified. It is an intervention that both mimics and subtly subverts the existing facade of the building.