Chisel & Mouse

Chisel & Mouse

London, GB


Architectural sculptures by Chisel & Mouse

By David Seen
Oct 27, '20 1:18 PM EST
New architectural sculptures by Chisel & Mouse
New architectural sculptures by Chisel & Mouse

Chisel & Mouse continues to build its fascinating catalogue of architectural sculptures, adding three new iconic models: Colosseo Quadrato, the Pantheon, and Oxo Tower. Each of these unique buildings capture the essence of a particular architectural era. Meticulously crafted, they offer an insight into intriguing periods of a pre- and post-industrial world.

Colosseo Quadrato
The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana—known simply as Colosseo Quadrato (Square Colosseum)—is inspired by neoclassicism and rationalism, and regarded as one of the most representative examples of Fascist architecture. Designed by architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula, and Mario Romano, the Colosseo Quadrato was constructed from 1938–1943. It was the centrepiece of the Italian authoritarian Benito Mussolini's new Esposizione Universale Roma, a business district built to host the 1942 World's Fair (it never happened because of World War II).

A stark, cuboid-shaped edifice, the six-storey Colosseo Quadrato is clad in travertine marble. Each of its four facades consist of a grid of six–by–nine archways (rumoured to represent the number of letters in Benito Mussolini's name). Today, the Colosseo Quadrato is the headquarters of Italian fashion house Fendi. Chisel & Mouse capture the essence of the Colosseo Quadrato's austere facade in an architectural sculpture limited to 150 pieces.

Completed in 126 CE during the reign of Hadrian, the Pantheon is an architectural masterpiece, and a magnificently preserved construction from ancient Rome. One of the Italian capital's most distinct and important attractions, the Pantheon's structure affords visitors a first-hand experience of Roman ingenuity.

The Pantheon consists of two principal parts: its porch and rotunda (both are linked by a vestibule). On the porch, a colonnade of sixteen monolithic granite Corinthian columns (each measuring 11.8 metres high), communicate the structure's immense importance. The Pantheon's rotunda measures 43.2 meters in diameter, which is the exact height of the concrete dome. At the dome's crest, an 8.8 metre wide oculus opens to the sky. An incredible feat of engineering, the Pantheon's dome is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is supported by a series of arches—the Romans perfected the use of arches as a way to sustain the weight of their massive buildings. The dome's coffers (ceiling panels) are divided into twenty-eight sections, equivalent to the number of columns below. More than merely decorative, the carved coffers help to reduce the dome's weight.

Chisel & Mouse created a cutaway model of the Pantheon, highlighting the historic building's intricate design and exceptional workmanship. It will be produced in a run of 150 beautifully crafted and signed architectural sculptures.

Oxo Tower
Oxo Tower is a famous landmark on London's South Bank. It occupies the site of a former power station (built circa 1900), that supplied electricity to the Royal Mail. The building was purchased in the 1920s by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company, makers of the Oxo beef stock cube (the company was founded in 1865 by the German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig, who, in 1840, had developed a concentrated beef extract). Much of the original building was demolished; from 1928–1929, it was rebuilt in an Art Deco style designed by architect Albert Moore. Its purpose was to provide a cold storage facility, where meat, delivered by barge, was processed and packed.

As part of the Oxo Tower building's design, Liebig wanted a tower that would feature illuminated signage, advertising the name of the company's product. However, a ban on skyline advertising prohibited this. To circumvent the ban, Albert Moore incorporated four sets of three vertically-aligned windows on each of the tower's facades—a circle, cross, and circle, spelling OXO. Almost a century later, following a period of dereliction in the 1970s and the threat of demolition, Oxo Tower remains standing. Known today as Oxo Tower Wharf, it is now an award-winning, mixed use development of co-operative homes, design, art, retail, and restaurant spaces. In its architectural sculpture, Chisel & Mouse capture Oxo Tower's wonderful Art Deco character and its prominent OXO-advertising windows.

Chisel & Mouse celebrate the beauty of our industrialised world, combining an artisan’s approach with modern innovation and transformative technologies, capturing life and its big ideas in miniature. Brothers Robert and Gavin Paisley have been casting and handcrafting exact physical representations of architectural landmarks and cityscapes since 2011. With dexterity, artistry, a keen eye for detail and patience, Chisel & Mouse, create finely balanced architectural sculptures of iconic buildings and cityscapes.