Belgrave House is an office building, designed for Grosvenor Estate in 2000, with a refined Portland stone and glass façade occupying a 110 metre long site on Buckingham Palace Road. At the centre of the façade, a double height reception area - accessed by two glass revolving doors - is fully glazed to the street.
Along the northern flank wall of the entrance lobby is a framed artwork, sited both within the internal space and travelling through the glazed screen onto Buckingham Palace Road. The metal frame is set flush into the Portland Stone as an integral part of the design.
Following an invited competition organised by Modus Operandi, artists were asked to propose a work which would be integrated within the building's architecture and publicly visible from the street.
Martin McGinn won the competition with his 'Glass Ceiling' proposal, the appointment being his first public commission and the first time he had worked in a material other than paint on canvas.
Visible both by day and night, Glass Ceiling is a monumental lightbox, which crosses the threshold of Belgrave House, part outside and part inside. Within the lightbox, which is faced with sandblasted toughened glass, sits the image of overlapping fluorescent tubes which appear to recede in perspective down a vast corridor.
A cast glass reception desk on the facing side of the entrance area serves as a luminous foil to McGinn's trompe-l'oeil perspective of fluorescent tubes.
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