Chiswick Mall Orangery

Chiswick, London


“The Orangery is a work of art that really you're not required to do any intellectualising about at all, but just luxuriate in the beauty that's created by putting those colour filters between the sun and you, and the floor is such a delicate, varied interaction between lines of stone and forms of coloured smalti, with the glory of this roof almost like a glimpse into paradise – you know, that's too banal, it’s better than that. It has the artifice to drag bliss down out of the air and kind of let it go in front of your face. You can't hold onto that kind of euphoric moment for very long: you pass out. But they come and they go, at different intensities, and somehow that filter of blue and gold and yellow is tremendously uplifting. My friend Frank Lowe wanted to build a sort of greenhouse, not for plants but for people – the idea was an orangery in a place you can't really grow oranges, a conservatory where he could go and sit in his colonial wicker chair reading the newspaper, And there's just one moment in it: a sheet of musical score from Suor Angelica, an opera he's always loved, that I made in stained glass as a surprise for him, set in the roof.” – Brian