Commissioned 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 mens’ tailoring and grooming.

Diagram of entrance perception route

Whether we consciously recognise it or not, our experience of space is the combined impression of all our senses. Affecting a lasting impression of a space is possible if one’s awareness of it is challenged, by engaging with one or more of our senses in an unusual or unexpected way.

We recognised that the restricted nature of the lobby space along with the specified wall placement location would work together to effectively control, within quite a narrow range of angles, how the installation would be viewed as one passes through the entrance.

Taking inspiration from anechoic sound chambers and traditional woven fabric swatches, we tested the visual qualities of various three-dimensional forms as viewed from different positions within the entrance space.

Early investigations into three-dimensional forms tested how best to exploit the spatial constraints of the entrance to dramatic visual effect, resulting in options that transformed as one moved through the space.

Our three-dimensional and material investigations also considered the inclusion of acoustically absorbent surfaces to dramatically improve the acoustic characteristics of the space and result in a cosier, more welcoming entrance lobby. This would be most noticeable around the reception desk, where visitors engaging in conversation with the receptionist would form their first impression of the building.

RCKa worked with Cutfoam to devise a high-quality way to fabricate the artwork. Key to ensuring crisp edges on the dense foam was to make the final cut, which formed two pieces from one, after applying the solid colour coating.

The 200x153mm sheets of polished Tecu© gold copper sheet are delivered pre-cut to Cutfoam UK who then bonded it to the face of the foam using low-VOC adhesives.

Client organisation: The Crown Estate
Completion: 2015
Location: Waterloo Place, London