The towering SEE Monster Hotel in Weston-super-Mare has opened to the public – after months of dominating the city skyline. The art installation, the first of its kind in the world, will welcome an estimated 300 people a day on board with the aim of inspiring conversations about reuse, renewable energy sources and great British weather.
The structure, which was converted from a former gas platform, spans three floors and is 35 meters high – 15 meters higher than Angel North. More than 200 people work on site in Tropicana on the installation, which contains a 10-meter-high waterfall and a pull-making machine.Read:Demi Lovato loses her voice and is forced to cancel show on Holy F*ck tour
The waterfall is constantly recycled from a pond at its base with 40 trees and other plants across the platform watered by an irrigation system powered by wind turbines and solar panels. Monster’s Garden Lab is grown with a variety of herbs, plants, and trees selected to thrive in a seaside microclimate.
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On the upper floor – the helicopter pad – there is an amphitheater with telescopes from which one can enjoy unparalleled views across the bay and estuary. The artwork even has a slide, in a nod to those seen before in the Tropicana, that goes from the third floor to the second floor.
A former lifeboat used on rigs hanging on the side. The lights used on the platform were redirected and hung on the monster. Kinetic sculptor Evan Black created two statues of the beast representing the sun and moon moved by the wind.Read:Eamonn Holmes takes a break from TV to undergo a vital operation on his back
They are made of aluminum and are designed to withstand the elements, particularly the corrosive sale in sea air. The wave on the side of the hull consists of 6000 segments.
At the base of the structure is a broadcast studio through which programs and podcasts are broadcast. Transforming an industrial structure into a piece of art is an unprecedented engineering feat spearheaded by the creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE in Leeds.
The 450-ton platform was moved by sea on a large boat the size of a football field to Weston Beach in July. It was then lifted by a crane over the seawall on pre-constructed legs.
The installation was commissioned as part of UNBOXED: UK creativity. A free national collection of ten large-scale public art engagement projects that showcase UK creativity and innovation to the world. It costs millions – all funded by the government – although the exact cost is unknown.Read:Report: Braun Strowman returning to WWE, scheduled to be at Raw – WON/F4W
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“The vision of Monster is an incredibly unique project achieved through cross-sector collaboration and the ambitious nature of UNBOXED,” said Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director and Founder of NEW SUBSTANCE. “We are very excited to be the first person in the world to reuse a structure in this way, with the potential to provide a blueprint for for future global reuse projects.”
SEE Monster, which already had 200,000 visitors prior to its opening, will remain on site until November 6 when the shutdown process begins. Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at UNBOXED Creativity UK, said: “SEE Monster is an inspiring and stunning project that embodies UNBOXED’s ambition to celebrate creative collaboration across science, engineering and the arts.
“Transforming the decommissioned platform into one of the UK’s most ambitious art installations was an unprecedented task and provides a blueprint for the reuse of industrial structures that everyone should be proud of.”
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The opening comes after three drone shows from the monster that drew crowds of tens of thousands to the city. Local businesses say they were more active in the week of September as a result of the shows.
North Somerset Council for Place Industry and Growth Executive Member Mark Kanifford said: “The Beast continues to provide a huge boost to our local economy at this time of year, and the final leg of people taking the stage will bring additional visitors to North Somerset during the fall months after peak tourist season.” .
The Beast is open today for preview visits to people in certain Weston zip codes. Open to the public on Saturday (September 24) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, please visit www.seemonster.co.uk.
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