Squire and Partners, together with creative agency Mr President, have created "The Secrets of St James’s", an installation that reveals hidden stories of this historic part of London and forms part of an ongoing placemaking project that aims to reposition St James’s as an area of the city with a distinctive culture and heritage.
An independent creative agency based in Soho Square, London, Mr. President was founded in 2012 by Nick Emmel, Claire Hynes and Laura Jordan Bambach, with the belief that brands are their most powerful when they speak and act as one. Mr. President helps marketers create connected strategies that unify everything under one brand defining idea. The agency has earned numerous accolades, including being named The Drum Agency of the Year in 2017 and Ad Age Silver Small International Agency of the Year 2016.
Interactive 3D map
Situated in St James’s Market, the interactive installation features a uniquely forged 3D map of the area by London Bronze Casting. Made from conductive brass the map gives a bird’s eye view of the area that visitors can explore with their fingertips.
Conductive sensors within the map illuminate the surrounding wooden cabinets to reveal 18 untold secrets of the area. Each cabinet is made up of a series of boxes that represent each individual story and contain a combination of artefacts, descriptions and 3D elevations printed on to LED-lit card. A specifically chosen palette of colours was used to enhance and create an eye-catching exhibition, whilst complementing the ambient tones of the area.
The Home of the Scotch Egg
Never has the reputation of a snack food waxed and waned as dramatically as the Scotch Egg. The fare of badly lit service stations or the height of fashionable refinement, the Scotch Egg has been both, and it was first created at Fortnum & Mason in 1738 as a traveller’s snack. The upmarket department store was founded by William Fortnum, a footman in the royal household of Queen Anne. As the Royal Family had new candles every night, there was a lot of half-used wax which Fortnum promptly resold for a profit. He convinced his landlord, Hugh Mason, to be his associate, and they founded the first Fortnum & Mason stall here in St James's Market in 1707. From these humble beginnings, the shop has gone on to become a British institution, an icon of refined luxury.
The World’s Most Famous Martini
Like his Martini-quaffing hero, Ian Flemming spent many hours at the bar in Duke's Hotel. Reportedly the birthplace of the classic line "Shaken, not stirred", the bar serves a number of Bond themed drinks, including the Vesper Martini. Named after the ‘Casino Royale’ character, Flemming reportedly based Vesper Lynd on real life British spy Christine Granville. Granville was known to be both brave and charming. She was awarded the George Cross, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and carried a knife on her at all times. Unfortunately all of this was not enough to stop her eventual murder at the hands of Dennis George Muldowney, a porter at the nearby Reform Club on Pall Mall.
The First Computer Programmer
As the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, Augusta ‘Ada’ King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace was brought up by her mother to shun poetry and embrace science and mathematics. Her mother believed this might save her from a "poetic" temperament like her father, who had fled to Greece after a scanda ous relationship with his half sister and abandoned them. She is popularly known as the first Computer Programmer, for her pioneering work in 1830s with fellow mathematician Charles Babage on his ‘Analytical Engine’.
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