Chelsea Artisans Ltd have recently completed the manufacture and installation of stunning glass panels for the new Damien Hirst restaurant Pharmacy 2 which is part of the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, south London. Hirst’s original artwork was digitally printed then laminated within glass layers to form panels for the gallery bar front. The gallery, designed by renowned architects Caruso St John, recently won the RIBA Sterling Prize.
The contract comprised two main elements, sandblasted design and colour coated laminated glass as secondary glazing window panels, and laminated glass with a digital print interlayer for bar fronts. Both designs were created by the Damien Hirst organisation.
The secondary glazing panels depicted a DNA helix continuing over four window panels, each an impressive 2.60 x 2.60m in size. The designs were sandblasted and then coated in different translucent colours to create the pattern. The application required separate masking for each individual colour and was a demanding and very exacting and precise process. The pattern was designed to run through all four panels creating a continuous helix. Each of the four panels weighed approximately 270kg and required a carefully thought out lifting and installation procedure. During the daytime the panels are illuminated by external sunlight in the same manner as stained glass windows whilst at night time the internal lighting projects the image externally. The windows form an integral part of the design of the building’s external appearance.
The laminated glass panels with digital print interlayer are also used as cladding panels for the main bar. The digital print is an expanded image of pills and medicines that complement the medical theme of the bar itself and restaurant generally. The images are thermally printed onto a compatible film that is then encapsulated between two sheets of clear glass before it is bonded to the bar structure.
The manufacture and installation of both elements required an attention to detail to ensure the precise requirements of the setting out were achieved. Working in conjunction with the architects, Caruso St John, and other specialist contractors Chelsea Artisans Ltd were able to successfully contribute two major aspects of this truly exciting and remarkable project.
The Newport Street Gallery was recently featured in the prestigious RIBA Awards 2016 winning recognition in both the National and London categories. The description of the project on the RIBA website includes the following extracts: Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall has involved the conversion of an extraordinary terrace of listed industrial buildings, that were formerly theatre carpentry and scenery painting workshops…..This is a very bold and confident project wherein old and new are seamlessly joined and reinterpreted to create superb gallery spaces in a building with a very significant civic presence.