Courtyard Constellations, Southampton

Courtyard Constellation

Cumberland Place, Southampton

Commissioned by Tiger Developments, produced by ‘a space’ arts 

Courtyard Constellation is a beautiful, contemplative addition to Southampton’s new student accommodation, Southampton Crossings. The courtyard creates a meeting point, while also providing a transitional space between the students’ homes and the city.

In a reference to the astronomical observatory that once occupied the site, Denman+Gould mapped 11 star constellations onto a grid. Each constellation  represented by a different colour forms an abstract pattern that can be picked out from from students’ rooms above – or at floor level. A geometric motif of equilateral triangles echoes the architectural forms used in observatories, and in particular the geodesic structures invented by Buckminster Fuller.

The colour palette is inspired by the hand-painted colour index of old British geological survey maps, developed by artists and scientists in the 19th Century. Over 1200 individual pieces were hand cast by Denman+Gould.

Cumberland Place is home to new student accommodation in Southampton city centre. Denman+Gould adopted the rich, subtle and meaningful colour palette to celebrate the spirit of exploration and intellectual enquiry that’s essential to education.