As London’s Crossrail development project has rolled loudly, slowly on, it’s probably fair to say the project has been accessorised with a few eye (and ear) sores – cranes, rubble, road closures, dust…you get the idea. But in the bid to make tunnels from Liverpool Street to Farringdon, something beautiful has emerged in the shape of this Barbican commissioned film Pipe Dreams, animated by Daniela Sherer. The film marks the passing of Crossrail’s tunnel boring machines (apparently named Elizabeth and Victoria) beneath the Barbican Estate. Crossrail will see a new 73-mile railway line across London by 2018 (they hope), with a large stretch comprising a tunnel through central London.
“There is something beautifully raw about the tunnels in their present state, perfectly circular and concrete-lined. It’s a state which won’t last for long – soon they will be re-shaped and adorned with all the furniture which transforms them into a commuter train line," says director Siddharth Khajuria. "I wanted to make something which captured them at the moment of their creation, which makes us contemplate the new landscape being carved beneath our feet. Daniela’s animation was crucial to this, stripping the space back to its basic forms, and using those as the starting point for an abstract, trippy voyage.”
It uses footage of the tunnels shot by Bevis Bowden that makes them look at once terrifying, overawing and beautiful; set off with Daniela’s geometric black and white shapes and lines and a soundtrack by LoneLady. The Barbican says: “Capturing the strange magic of this untouched and otherworldly labyrinth that lies beneath our busy streets, Pipe Dreams brings the tunnels to life.” We say: “A bit like a subterranean London Space Mountain for the desk-bound. Very hypnotic, very good.”
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.