During the early stages of design for a mixed use project facing Baker Street, Marylebone, a large wall expanse from the rear of the office reception through to the external façade was identified as an area for artwork which would complement the building and provide animation to Baker Street.
Squire and Partners chose to research artists themselves rather than rely on the advice of a consultant, and following an extensive search through the collections of the Crafts Council we were drawn to the work of established glass artist Alexander Beleschenko.
Alexander initially studied painting and printmaking, but later applied these skills – as well as interests in drawing, photography and digital design – to the handling and aesthetics of glass.
Central to Beleschenko's practice are relationships between architectural structure and surface, and between expanse and detail using methods such as screenprinting, sandblasting, acid etching, engraving, enamelling, bevelling and chipping.
Alexander operates from Beleschenko Glass Studios in Swansea, is an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
The glass artwork at 11 Baker Street was the result of a long process of collaboration between Alexander and Squire and Partners, during which a concept evolved using layers of glass which would produce an artwork of varying depths that engaged both passers-by from a distance, and building users who would see the glass at close range.
Two layers of glass gave three transparent surfaces to work with, creating an appearance of depth due to the layering of the painted forms. Overland patterns in a multitude of shapes and configurations appear to weave in and out of one another, providing a rich tapestry of colours and patterns.