People, Places, Things
Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design
is a collaborative practice that makes
buildings, places, strategies and objects.

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Digital Menhir, Milton Keynes

The MK Menhir is a 1:1 replica of a standing sarsen stone from the Avebury stone circle, sited on a Porte Cochère at the top of Milton Keynes’ Midsummer Boulevard. The Avebury stone has been 3d scanned and the data used to fabricate a replica from hard-coated foam.

It’s form recalls the oldest human landscapes of Britain, while its iridescent finish suggests the contemporary language of custom car design. Form and finish create an object that is both ancient and modern. The sculpture has a close relationship to the history and culture of Milton Keynes’ design, making explicit the deep relationship to myths of the English landscape and the British rose-tinted love of Los Angeles that underwrote the original concept for the 1970’s New Town.

The MK Menhir aims to draw on these traditions and ideas in developing a new artwork that is both ancient in its references, modern in its appearance while deeply rooted in the story of Milton Keynes and Midsummer Boulevard. It acts as a monument to founding myths of Milton Keynes, as well as a landmark responding to the formal axis and urban design of the boulevard, itself aligned with the midsummer solstice.

It is part of a series of Port Cochere public art projects due for completion this autumn commissioned by Milton Keynes and MK Gallery that also include artist David Batchelor

Photos © Jim Stephenson

Milton Keynes