Art installations mark the launch of two new St James’s buildings

Yesterday we held a stakeholder reception for 11 Charles II Street to mark both the launch of the building, and the completion of the Ground Floor Project, managed in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation.

27 March 2015

Over the last 18 months, we have been working with The Architecture Foundation to competitively commission two bespoke artworks for this building and for 11 Waterloo Place.

The brief called for designers to celebrate the unique history and heritage of craft and making in St James’s whilst suggesting attractive and unique artworks for the reception areas of these two buildings. Six designers were shortlisted through a nomination process by an expert panel of advisors.

The Cosmology of St James's

Lola Lely’s art installation at 11 Charles II Street, The Cosmology of St James’s,was inspired by both the tradition of high-end craft and making in the area and also Sir Isaac Newton, a former resident of St James’s.  The hanging piece is formed of bespoke ‘satellites’ created from materials and tailoring patterns. Lola’s proposal involved collaborating with local bootmaker John Lobb who supplied historical templates and high quality materials for the installation.

Lola Lely said: "The shoe patterns from the archives of John Lobb Bootmaker's were the main source of inspiration for my proposal. I viewed these patterns as insightful historical documents; they are tellingly intimate and narrative objects. Using these patterns as a starting point, I distorted and reassembled the shapes to create new sculptural forms in a variety of different materials including, leather, wood and metal.”

The second piece of artwork as part of the project, Acoustitch, is installed behind the reception desk at 11 Waterloo place. Briefed to create an engaging artwork that celebrates the unique history of St James’s, RCKa drew inspiration from the rich craft-based heritage of the area, renowned for bespoke men’s tailoring and grooming. RCKa looked to anechoic sound chambers, choosing to use high-density acoustic foam as the core material for the artwork to soften the acoustics, creating a more welcoming entrance for workers and visitors.