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Marcol House

Following an invited competition organised by Modus Operandi, artist Rana Begum was commissioned to develop an artwork to be integrated within the architectural scheme of the newly redeveloped Marcol House, designed by BFLS Architects. Taking the glazed west elevation as her canvas, Begum has used its vertical fins to create a rippling abstract artwork that ascends the building’s side. Created in conjunction with artist Nathaniel Rackowe, the subtle shades of Begum’s grey, silver and gold fins both complement the building’s minimalist aesthetic and symbolically reflect the local context of Marcol House, in London’s West End.


In Begum’s own words: ‘For me, the gold and silver represents the richness of the area, while the dark grey reflects the fabric, the material of the city itself.’ The appearance of the artwork is in a constant state of flux: while shifts in natural light affect the colour and tone of the anodised fins, the viewer’s position determines how much of the artwork can actually be seen. As Begum has explained:


From afar the work is very subtle and viewed from a front-on angle you just see a glimpse of colour. Then, as you walk down the street towards Marcol House, the angles change, and the effect of the colours increase. It is this subtlety, this flowing rhythm of brightly coloured geometric shapes, that allows the work to continuously change as the viewer moves through the space, thus providing an artwork that will constantly surprise and maintain interest, even for the person who walks down that street every day.



Rana Begum, Nathaniel Rackowe


Great Portland Estates


BFLS Architects





Image credit

© Rana Begum