BLOG: exterior merges with interior

Andrew Moor specialises in exterior glass artwork

We have done this for public art projects where the work starts outside the building and then straddles the entranceway creating a link between interior and exterior. This was exceptionally well done at the Sage Centre in Gateshead, where Kate Maestri's glass balustrade starts outside the building on both sides and moves through the interior providing a link between the interior and exterior experience.


the sage centre

You can see this in the image below by looking closely, you can see the blue balustrade on both sides.



From the inside you see how the narrative started on the exterior develops with this weaving band of colour dragging the eye through the building, healing to express the curving walls and structure of the space.




Lancelot Place, SW3

The project below, designed by Graham Jones, is on Lancelot Place just opposite Harrods. This also shows a glass artwork starting outside a building and then penetrating the interior.


lancelot place - exterior glass art


exterior glass art on lancelot place, london

This project is far from minimalist here. The work has several layers of free-standing walls of glass running parallel, all with texture and dynamic colours. The project starts with an abstracted landscape (see below) and slowly metamorphoses into these bright discs of colour, grading from bright red into white translucence as the wall turns a corner into the interior reception.



Outdoor Glass Building Artwork

This style of bridging exterior and interior is also well illustrated in a much more recent project by Kate Maestri, 10 Portman Square (Architects: Jestico + Whiles). Once again, the art traverses from exterior to interior. The six-metre-tall wall of glass cladding can be seen from more than 200 yards away, asserting the building's presence. The deep rich blue of the exterior wall gradually shifts as the wall moves through the interior, transforming into a soft pale green.


If you stand on Oxford Street and look north up Baker Street, you can see this dramatic feature. Is drama what a developer needs when building a speculative office building The temptation is to plumb for a neutral experience that no potential client can find fault with. And this policy may work with residential buildings, where owners prefer to create their own mark. But an office building or public building needs a brand. It should be assertive. This captures something its clients are likely to want to express that they too are bold and assertive and stand out from the crowd. Putting something strong and different in the facade or entranceway of a building creates something special for the city, for the area and for the occupants.


The developers of this building, British Land, were able to market the exceptional building remarkably quickly, and for this, they thought, the glass artwork in reception was significantly responsible.



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