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London buildings get arty makeovers

Posted at 10:00 am, May 21, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

St Martins
As St Martins gets the St Martins treatment, we look at the best examples of building makeovers in London. Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design has always been notorious for its creative visions in all mediums of art. But on this occasion, St Martins itself is the subject of Swiss artist Felice Varini’s latest piece. Along the illustrious institute’s walls now is a 542 metre long stretch of silver adhesive vinyl that covers the breadth of the entire school. As you can see from the picture up top, it’s a pretty beautiful facade. Of course, this is not the only London building wearing a mask at the moment. Have a look at some other art pieces that have consumed local structures.

The Fourth Plinth


The Fourth Plinth is one of London’s best architectural blank canvases and has hosted a number of wild and wonderful art projects over the years. A long way from its humble beginnings, when it didn’t even have enough funds to parade an equestrian sculpture for King William IV. In recent years, the pedestal has more than made up for it, with art works ranging from a replica of Nelson’s ship, the bust of the armless pregnant artist Alison Limmer, and during Antony Gormley’s 2009 “One and Other’ stint, a man dressed as Godzilla demolishing a cardboard emulation of the London skyline.



Some people would say that Poundland is in itself a work of art. Although many would disagree, Banksy, a man who knows all about how to make the unremarkable remarkable, turned Poundland from ‘place where we get our shit tupperware boxes’ to Wood Green political mural with the shake of a spray can. The image, which featured a young sweatshop worker stitching some union jack bunting, was later removed and sold online for around £400,000.

Branch Lines 

Victoria House

A run-down council estate all hollowed out may not seem like it carries much artistic license, but an art project last year made sure that Victoria House in North Cheam turned into something a tad more aesthetically pleasing than yet another Costa Coffee. In a scheme called The Outer London Fund (founded by Boris Johnson, in some sort of sudden lightbulb moment of logic) two young artists Sam Skinner and Charles Holden were commissioned to revitalise the tired concrete blocks into a brick sketchpad, adorning Victoria House with tree motifs and inspiration from Mother Nature.

Find more arty happenings in London.

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