The UrbanCow is Foster and Partners contribution to the CowParade, a public art project that has delighted audiences across the world. She is a playful homage to Ron Herrons Walking City project (1964) and is anamorphically painted to be part-building, part-animal. The UrbanCow is a fascinating and inventive representation of architecture as a living, breathing entity.

Our UrbanCow is completely sustainable, from her supporting skeletal structure to her gastrointestinal system, from the restaurant in her jaws to her penthouse apartments, which include a ventilation system and swimming pool. Her four-stomach waste management system creates gas for fuel, and her productive output of milk drives her local economy and nurtures her city of UrbanCalves.

The UrbanCow joins a herd of 200 other individually decorated life-size cows that take to the streets of Manchester this summer. The CowParade is about having fun and spotting as many different cow characters as you can. Other locations for the cows have included Chicago, New York, London, Zurich and Sydney. At the end of the 3-month exhibition, many of the cows will be auctioned off for charity.

The CowParade runs in Manchester from 14 June to 12 September 2004.

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