A collaboration between Webb Yates Engineers and The Stonemasonry Company, ‘Equanimity’ is an 11m post-tensioned stone beam demonstrating how structural stone can be used in place of concrete, saving massive amounts of carbon in the process. The piece was originally commissioned as part of the 2022 Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, the largest open-submission art exhibition in the world, and was later featured at ABC Stone’s facility in Brooklyn, USA, as a part of the ‘From Field to Form: Stone’ programme by The Architectural League.
Assembled from blocks of Portland stone that had been rejected by the quarry for aesthetic blemishes, and great chunks of granite salvaged from a condemned postmodern building in the Docklands, the beam exploits the different properties of the two materials along the length of the beam, respectively working in tension and compression. The piece comprises a 300 x 160 x 1100cm stone beam, Douglas Fir timber, and steel.
While we have always believed that we can limit climate change by using low energy materials, the beam responds to today’s reality; lifting desperate people out of the flood waters. The conception of the beam was a combination of engineering design and craft knowledge. Allowing the pragmatic and the scientific to rule lead us to make such a rarefied and arresting object with a real prospect for the future.
Equanimity won the 2022 CDUK Award for Architecture, which is given for best demonstrating the capacity of architecture to signal hope.
- The CDUK award for Architecture 2022, winner, 7 2022