Anish Kapoor’s bean sculpture at 56 Leonard Street will finally get installed
Rendering of Anish Kapoor sculpture at 56 Leonard St. © Anish Kapoor, 2017
Tribeca’s “Jenga Building,” officially known as 56 Leonard Street, welcomed residents over two years ago, but one piece of the tower is still missing–the mirrored, bean-shaped sculpture by Anish Kapoor planned for the sidewalk outside its entrance. The sculptor is best known in the U.S. for his 2005 Cloud Gate installation in Chicago’s Millenium Park, and his Tribeca piece, his first permanent work in New York City, will be a similar, smaller version of this. Back in March, we spotted a spray-painted installation guide for the sculpture outside 56 Leonard, but it’s taken until now for the official word that the install will begin in November.
View of 56 Leonard via Wikimedia Commons
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, 56 Leonard was first revealed in 2008, at which time early renderings showed the Kapoor sculpture out front. As 6sqft explained earlier this year, the delay in the installation is attributed to challenges with the “welding and fairing process” to create a seamless sculpture. Performance Structures, Inc., who fabricated Cloud Gate and has been working on the 56 Leonard Piece, told Tribeca Citizen that these obstacles “added a huge amount of time to the installation process, and more than doubled the cost of the sculpture.”
Photo from March 2019 outside 56 Leonard showing the spray-painted installation guide, via 6sqft
Photo from October 2019 outside 56 Leonard showing the barrier, courtesy of CityRealty
According to a press release from 56 Leonard’s developer Alexico Group:
Exemplifying true synergy between art and architecture, Kapoor’s monumental mirror sculpture at the base of the 60-story structure will seemingly both prop up the building and be squashed by it. An enigmatic balloon-like form, weighing 40 tons and measuring 48 feet long by 19 feet high, the work will define the corner of the building at Church Street and Leonard Street and will become a must-see destination that reflects the Tribeca Historic District, its residents and visitors.
In recent weeks, a barrier has gone up around the sculpture location, signaling that work is set to begin.