On a side street behind the hospital, a giant brown hedgehog can be found dominating a space between two low rise buildings.

It’s not art, although it could well be, but is a blurring of art and architecture, for this is in fact, a classroom for students. The aim is to provide a multi-functional space for live science shows, hands-on workshops, experiments, debates, films and exhibitions.

It’s officially a “2-storey elevated ‘pod’ structure with connecting bridge as extension to the exiting Centre of the Cell at Queen Mary’s Blizard Building” and called the Neuron Pod.

But it looks like a slightly balding hedgehog.

It was originally going to be rather more hairsuite though, as the original plans called for 1,300 lit acrylic hairs, but that was cut to 500 to save money and space inside the internal walls.

The Neuron Pod was constructed from 13 large prefabricated steel sections which were then assembled on site earlier this year.

The head, or at least the neck, for the head is absent is on the other side and connects to an already existing footbridge via a short spur that was added.

It doesn’t look like it could from the outside, but it can house 60 people inside for lectures and events, so it makes quite a big impact on how many people the education facility can handle each day.

It’s a distinctive new building, and if it were on a main street would rightly be a local landmark. In its current location it’s hidden away, and thus doubly rewarding to seek out.

The Neuron Pod was designed by Professor Will Alsop OBE RA, and funders of the £1.9m project include the Wellcome Trust, Barts Charity, the Wolfson Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Hobson Charity, Gosling Foundation and QMUL.

Nearest railway stations

  1. Whitechapel
  2. Shadwell
NEWSLETTER

Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:
SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE

This website has been running now for just over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what your read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

One comment on “There’s a giant brown steel “hedgehog” in Whitechapel
  1. Richard Ash says:

    I hope it doesn’t go the same way as the last big piece of public art in rusted steel, with spines all over it, Heatherwick’s “B of the Bang” which rusted so well they had to take it down on safety grounds …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Home >> News >> Architecture