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Cambridge Assessment’s stunning artwork answers a question in 34 languages




The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell

And its 39-metre tower is softly illuminated at night

The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle. One of the two pieces of public art, from left Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment Saul Nasse, artists Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier and former Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment Simon Lebus. Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle. One of the two pieces of public art, from left Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment Saul Nasse, artists Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier and former Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment Simon Lebus. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge Assessment staff have now taken possession of their recently completed 360,000 sq ft headquarters between Shaftesbury Road and the railway/guided bus lane.

To mark the occasion, the 39-metre tower’s artwork has been softly illuminated during the hours of darkness since Monday, April 16.

The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell

Made up of layer upon layer of script printed onto glass and subtly illuminated from behind, the tower’s pale cream light is a parchment colour – designed to show a link with academic practice, as Cambridge Assessment is a department of Cambridge University.

The script is made up of more than 300 ‘answers’ in 34 languages to the question ‘What is knowledge?’ Close up, the script is readable but from the distance that most people will view it the words merge together to form two abstract pieces of art called ‘In Other Words’.

The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell

Speaking at the launch of the public art project at the heart of Triangle (international exams group Cambridge Assesssment’s new Cambridge HQ) on Thursday, May 3, Saul Nassé, group chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, said: “‘In Other Words’ is a wonderful piece of public art that is one of the defining features of Triangle.

“A great thing about these works of art is that they aren’t just the works of Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, the artists. It’s a much bigger collaborative effort than that and collaboration is absolutely key to Cambridge Assessment and how we work.

The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell

“The team behind it have done a lot to reach out beyond Triangle and into the community, it’s not just the pieces here, it’s been a wider project.”

Mr Nassé paid tribute to all those involved and in particular his predecessor, former Cambridge Assessment group chief executive Simon Lebus, who said: “There’s a particular resonance in asking the question ‘What is knowledge?’ in the context of being an exam board. It’s a question that’s capable of multiple answers.

The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell
The new Cambridge Assessment building, The Triangle . Picture: Keith Heppell

“Vong and Claire have created something that is absolutely integral to the fabric of the building and that’s really important – it’s been really instrumental in terms of the presentation and design of the building.”



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