A Soho pub appears to have sprouted a confusion of white pipes above its roof, but it’s art—and is actually related to the recently rebuilt building behind it.

Commissioned by Landsec, owners of the Lucent building that sits behind the pub,, the design studio, Acrylicize were asked to create a site-specific artwork “that could provide a sense of placemaking and cultural character, whilst delivering on the need for the building to be experienced as an ‘oasis of calm’ in the busy city centre”

Called London is a Forest, the cluster of twisted pipes is supposed to “symbolise the connection to natural rhythms within the city, embodying the London’s network of technology and data, prompting viewers to reflect on their place within the cityscape”

Candidly, it’s a load of twisted metal pipes that from the street level looks more like the huge clusters of drainpipes that often snake down the backs of Edwardian mansion blocks, and have now been painted white.

It’s public art – but might have helped if it had been a bit more obviously a work of art and one that better fitted the space. Otherwise, I suspect a lot of people looking up will, at best, conclude that it’s a fancy plant trellis waiting for plants to decorate the pub’s roof terrace.

An aside – the sign outside the pub says that it was established in 1793 – and while the Devonshire Arms has been there since 1793, it’s occupancy has been intermittent. I’ll mention that in 2022 it was the CoqBull, which has replaced Jamies Italian in 2019, who took over the site in 2012 after the pub had closed.

Now it’s the (much lauded) Devonshire Arms again, but not the same one that’s been there since 1793.


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  1. Don says:

    Oh, I thought that looked familiar. Nice to see it’s back to being the Devonshire, it was my uncle’s pub in the 70s/80s 🙂

  2. Thomas says:

    Do we know if it lights up?

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