Why “Turning the place over” is just so good

When you first see the architectural intervention by artist Richard Wilson as you walk around the back of the Liverpool town hall, you get a feeling of well being.

There is just something very satisfying about the precision with which the opening has been cut out of the front of this old derelict building. It is a work of art, in both senses of the word.

People stop and stare, not quite sure if it is okay to laugh, which of course it is. There is a lot of humour here, a lot of play and some serious engineering. The illusion is magnificent as it is so subtle. The building in unchanged except for a huge oval that has been cut from its front and is spinning and turning on a vast sort of propeller blade. The kind of thing you imagine being used on the rotor on a wind turbine or submarine engine.

You have no choice but to take the time to wait for the cut-out section to return to its original place and for a brief moment return the building to a whole. But, no sooner is it back, then it moves on again, always turning, always changing, like any great urban cityscape.

There are thousands of views of the numerous youtube videos that the public have posted and if you can’t make it to Liverpool to see the real thing, they are a must.

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