Quantum Leap was unveiled in Mardol Quay Gardens, Shrewsbury to mark Darwin’s bicentenary in 2009. The sculpture represents Darwin’s ground breaking scientific ideas and his impact on the scientific world.
Designed by Pearce & Lal, the sculpture is an impressive 12 metres high and 17.5 metres long, weighing in at more than 100 tonnes. The design itself is open to interpretation and has already been likened to a shell, human vertebrae, DNA, a dinosaurs skeleton and more. Jon King, Darwin coordinator explains: “What we wanted was an iconic structure – something that was big, was bold, but something that could be interpreted in different ways.”
Mardol Quay Gardens on the opposite bank of the River Severn to Shrewsbury’s new Theatre Severn has become a new “geo-garden”, celebrating Shropshire’s geological history – 10 of the 12 geological periods are represented in the county. Geology also played a large part in Darwin’s young life, being a key interest and inspiration to him during his years in Shrewsbury. The Quantum Leap scultpure, which is made from cast stone, is the centrepoint of this garden.
Manufacturing Quantum Leap
This slideshow takes you through the process of making the main element of the sculpture, the five metre long ‘ribs’ or ‘blades’. These were cast by Histon Concrete Products, one of Aggregate Industries factories near Ely, Cambridgeshire. First, a timber mould was painstakingly made from CAD drawings; secondly into this went a metal frame designed to give the unit sufficient structural integrity for use in construction; thirdly, the cast stone mix of cement and crushed stone was poured in. When this had set, the mould was unscrewed, and the unit could be de-mounted, water-blasted, acid etched and finished prior to being transported to Shrewsbury.
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Short Video About The Casting And Erection Of Quantum Lap