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Cardboard tower rises in Hounslow

Members of the public helped build this lightweight replica of the Kew Bridge water tower

This amazing cardboard construction in Hounslow takes flat-pack building to a new level.

The lightweight take on the Kew Bridge water tower appeared in Bell Square, at the east end of Hounslow High Street, on Saturday (July 18).

But the latest addition to Hounslow's skyline was short-lived, lasting only a matter of hours before being ceremonially pulled to the ground the following afternoon.

French artist Olivier Grossetete enlisted the public's help to build what he called the 'People's Tower' - inspired by the water tower at the London Museum of Steam & Water, in nearby Brentford.

It was the latest in a series of stunning structures he has made from scrap materials at sites across Europe - work he says brings together people from all backgrounds and helps them reflect on the symbolism of architecture.

Jan Lennox, director of Watermans arts centre, which helped organise the building project cum performance, said more than 500 people had helped put the tower together and some 2,000 had watched it being erected and demolished.

"It was a great site to see local people of all ages mucking in and building a genuine 'people's tower' from scratch. It's a fantastic demonstration that art really is for everyone," she added.

The People's Tower was the latest in a fortnightly series of free public performances in Bell Square, curated by Watermans. For details of what's coming up, visit www.bellsquarelondon.com.

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