Live Installation/Social Project/Public Art/Artist Book, 2016


This installation project by artist Fran Cottell and architect Marianne Mueller reflects on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground as the dream site for Jeremy Bentham’s experimental panopticon, the real Millbank Penitentiary, a military parade ground and now university campus, outdoor gallery and thoroughfare to Tate Britain. From solitary confinement, to the military organisation of a group as a single unit to today’s neoliberal forms of sociability, the social history of the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground represents a cross section through architecture’s power to orchestrate social modes. The intervention re-enacts a scaled version of the prison’s infamous plan, editing and reinterpreting it into a more socially active figure: a flower shaped bench. Each of the six pentagons or petals - originally shaped to facilitate social control and designated for solitary confinement - now invites informal gathering. The intervention plays with ideas of exclusion and segregation while offering a generous place within the larger barren square. Generating and disrupting the social activity framed by the square this project builds on a series of previous intervention projects by Fran Cottell and Marianne Mueller into domestic and institutional spaces for CGPLondon and the Architectural Association; the focus shifting from a relationship between visitors and inhabitants to between moving and static participation, occupations and activities to more unpredictable conditions and outcomes.

Commissioned For

supported by: CCW

Chelsea College of Arts

Camberwell College of Arts

Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Graduate School Staff Fund

Careers and Employability

Brewers Decorator Centres


The Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground

Chelsea College of Arts University of the Arts London

16 John Islip Street




wooden structure


25mx25m approx.


Marianne Mueller


Fabrication: Dexter Dymoke

Photography: Terry Watts

Publication designed by SO studio and Published by Camberwell Press

Drawings and Visualisations by Vicente Hernandez of Casper Mueller Kneer Architects



Dates 4th July - 14th August.

The gates will be open: Monday to Friday 8am-9pm

Saturday and Sunday 9.30am -7.30pm

Finnisage: Book launch and performance by Tansy Spinks: 29th July 6-8.30

Fran Cottell and Marianne Mueller will be on site Saturdays 16, 23 and 30 1-3pm

Related Artworks

Concrete Geometries: the relational in architecture, 2011
Collecting Time: the Living and the Dead, 2005
Still Live, 2003
BACK to FRONT, 2011

Fran Fran Fran Fran