This installation project by artist Fran Cottell and architect Marianne Mueller reflects on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground as the dream site for Jeremy Bentham's experimental panopticon, the real Millbank Penitentiary, a military parade ground and now university campus, outdoor gallery and thoroughfare to Tate Britain.
From solitary confinement, to the military organisation of a group as a single unit to today's neoliberal forms of sociability, the social history of the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground represents a cross section through architecture's power to orchestrate social modes.
The intervention re-enacts a scaled version of the prison's infamous plan, editing and reinterpreting it into a more socially active figure: a flower shaped bench. Each of the six pentagons or petals - originally shaped to facilitate social control and designated for solitary confinement - now invites informal gathering. The intervention plays with ideas of exclusion and segregation while offering a generous place within the larger barren square.
Pentagon Petal is supported by: Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School the Staff Fund and Careers and Employability.