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Great London Sculptures: The Traffic Light Tree by Pierre Vivant

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the most unusual sculptures in London is located on a traffic roundabout near Billingsgate Market, close to the Canary Wharf Financial District.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The public sculpture entitled Traffic Light Tree was created by the French sculptor Pierre Vivant following a competition run by the Public Art Commissions Agency.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture is eight metres tall and contains 75 sets of lights, each controlled by computer.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Vivant was inspired to create the sculpture by London Plane Trees and the changing pattern of the lights reflects the never-ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activities.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was originally located on a roundabout in Millwall, at the junction of Heron Quay, Marsh Wall and Westferry Road. It was installed in 1998 and soon became a favourite with tourists and locals, however due to redevelopment in 2011 the sculpture was moved to a new location opposite Billingsgate Market where it had an official lighting-up ceremony in 2014.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

It is still known to confuse motorists but that is all part of the fun about having a Traffic Light Tree. The sculpture was the reason the roundabout it stood on was voted the best UK roundabout in 2005.

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