Flexible office space provider The Office Group recently revamped their West End location in London with the help of UK art consultancy Acrylicize. The project uses many pieces of original art to bring the former residence of US President Martin Van Buren back to life.
“Art collective Acrylicize were met with an impressive former resident when sourcing wall art ideas for a new office art commission in central London. Delving into the archives of The Office Group’s latest design-led flexible working space at 7 Stratford Place in the West End, the collective discovered that the period building was home to Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States of America in 1831. Acrylicize created a series of artworks drawing on the grandeur of this heritage and the Georgian townhouse’s classic style.
For this central piece, located in the reception area, the collective evoked classic portraiture, adding their signature subversive twist.
In a nod to Van Buren, originator of the term ‘OK’ (Old Kinderhook was Van Buren’s birthplace), the president is pictured seated for his portrait. This time, in a tongue-in-cheek take on the original, his slogan takes centre stage as he makes the well-known hand gesture.
Acrylicize also drew on the location’s numerical heritage for additional artwork throughout the two neighbouring buildings. Interestingly, the office is accessible from two street entrances, on Stratford Place and Marylebone Lane. On both streets, the house sits at number 7. The collective worked with this trigger, for the central hallway.
Acrylicize collaborated with graphic designer Alex Fowkes, renowned for his recent Sony Music Timeline installation, to celebrate the much-missed traditional craft of pub mirrors, relics once seen lining the walls of your favourite local.
In this spirit, the collective overlaid a mirror with a bespoke screen print referencing Disney’s most cherished workers, the Seven Dwarves – a reference perfect for the office-oriented space. Featuring the iconic ‘It’s off to work we go’ song lyric, the piece also incorporates pictorial elements from the story such as the dwarves’ mining tools and oil lamps. To add another personal touch for The Office Group, Acrylicize included their signature mopeds and anglepoise lamp.
A tongue-in-cheek ‘WORK HARD’ neon piece was also designed for a nearby breakout space, complimenting the surrounding art and playing on The Office Group’s laidback approach to the workspace.”