It’s been an unusual 18 months for us here at Stage One. Like so many other companies in our industry, we were reminded of the fragility of our commissions and the industries we work with. As news hit of national lockdowns in March 2020, a series of cancellations, delays and stoppages followed. Some of these projects were already designed, built and in some cases loaded on trucks, ready to roll.
We were presented with impossible choices and options. The survival of our business depended on making a series of very difficult decisions.
Those were strange times.
Perhaps stranger still is where we find ourselves now. As we stand in the wake of the pandemic, we are filled with pride and optimism, we have survived, and in many ways, have flourished.
The tenacity of our team has meant we have not only been able to continue as a business, but we have become more agile, more adaptable and more resilient than ever before.
We have had to change the way we work and we will continue to adapt to post-pandemic life, with several of our upcoming projects taking us across the world, with all the challenges that quarantine, safe passage and newly introduced carnets present.
We are delighted that our workshops are once again full and the bustle of projects has returned. We have many exciting projects coming up, some of which we can’t talk about just yet, but there’s a few recent ones we would like to share…
The Serpentine Pavilion
For the twelfth year running, we have helped manufacture and construct the Serpentine Pavilion.
This year’s pavilion was the 20th architectural commission for the Serpentine Galleries and was designed by Counterspace. Sumayya Vally, the architect behind the design is the youngest ever to be commissioned for this internationally renowned project. Valley’s inspiration was based on past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across several London neighbourhoods significant to diasporic and cross-cultural communities.
‘The Pavilion is built of reclaimed steel, cork and timber covered with micro-cement. The varying textures, hues of pink and brown are drawn directly from the architecture of London and reference changes in quality of light.’ Serpentine Galleries.
You can visit the Pavilion in Kensington Gardens until the 17th October 2021.
Arcadia at the Manchester International Festival
We were commissioned by Manchester International Festival to create some of the structural staging elements for Deborah Warner’s Arcadia. Achieving a high spec realism was key with this project, as most of the staging consisted of real plants, we were contracted to create the structure of the stage, a plinth for the tree, the exposed earth edge surrounding the bottom part of the stage as well as some scenic rock-work.
The latest works of artist, Steve Messem, ‘These Passing Things’ involves a series of follies scattered throughout Fountains Abbey and Studly Royal.
We were contracted by the artist and the National Trust to manufacture and install one of three bold commissions, ‘Bridged’. Designed to sit across the River Skell, close to the site of a lost iron bridge from the 18th century, the contemporary crimson spikes create an exciting route of passage for visitors of the site.
You can see this inspiring series of ‘pop-up’ works until Autumn. Click here to find out more.
As well as these, we are working on a variety of creative briefs, from a giant sculpture of a very famous, former Californian Governor to a high specification permanent exhibition, not to mention several spectacular global ceremonies. All will be revealed in due course but for now we want to express our sincere gratitude to our amazing team and our inspiring clients, for helping us keep going.
Once more, we are looking forward to the future.
Author: Tim Leigh