Temenos has been described as a giant net-stretched stocking, a trawler net in the sky and as a real jewel in the crown of the area, a signature of what Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley is about.
The 48m high sculpture is the first of the planned five Tees Valley Giants to be completed. It spans a corner of the dock at the Middlehaven site in Middlesbrough and was officially handed over to the town’s Mayor Ray Mallon in June 2010.
The 32m diameter circular ring weighing 56 tonnes is joined to a 28m x 16m elliptical, 24 tonne ring at the other by steel cabling. The supporting mast weighs in at 56 tonnes and the whole 110m long structure at 156 tonnes. While these dimensions are impressive so is the £2.7m cost of this public work of art.
Giant works of art are also intended as regeneration projects in each of the other for Tees Valley’s boroughs. It will be interesting to see if in the present economic times whether they are built to form the biggest public art project in the world.
Temenos is the result of cooperation between artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond who are also to design and build the Arcelor Mittal Orbit tower at the 2012 Olympic Park. The pair has worked together on other large public works of art including the Cloud Gate in Chicago and the Sky Mirror in New York.
Temenos which in Greek means sacred ground or a place apart sits a stone’s throw from Middlesbrough’s Riverside football stadium and in sight of the iconic Transporter Bridge opened in 1911 for a cost of £84,000.
Meanwhile the old dock clock tower stands guard.