Super Sewer Ventilation Column Installed on Putney Embankment

First of 19 'signature' structures to be erected by the river

The ventilation column in Putney


Three New Public Artworks Planned for Putney Embankment

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The first of a planned f19 ‘signature’ ventilation columns has been installed in Putney.

The form of the 5 metre-high sculpture is inspired by flowing water, and features a specially commissioned poem by Dorothea Smartt celebrating the local area’s heritage.

Cast in nickel aluminium bronze, the same alloy used to create ship propellors, the ventilation columns are required to regulate the gases within the super sewer.

And their twisting, flowing form is inspired by the ‘computational fluid dynamics’ modelling how the flows travel down the vortex system and into the main super sewer.

The poem for the column at Putney references the lost river, the Beverly Brook, and its relation to early women’s swimming races help in the river at the site.

This column was cast in the Netherlands before being brough to Walham Forest for finishing and patination.

The columns, which will mark the path of the new Thames Water ‘super sewer’ will be spread across 9 sites where new public open spaces have been created by the project.

These ‘public realm’ sites will house a number of artistic elements, including bespoke landscaping, permanent artwork as well as the poems.

Putney MP Fleur Anderson said, “It’s great to see the final form of this site really beginning to take shape. The installation of this signature ventilation column at Putney – the first riverside example on the Tideway project – shows the progress being made on London’s new super sewer.

“Residents of Putney will soon benefit – not just from a cleaner River Thames – but from this new piece of public land, offering an all-new vista of the Thames as well as a number of artistic and sculptural elements linking to our area’s history.”

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April 29, 2022

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