Hanover Terrace Gesamtkunstwerk

The Regent's Park, London, England


A small-scale project in a private home in a John Nash terrace, linking the ground floor, entrance hall and first floor, and upper levels of the house together through a series of interventions in the form of integral artworks conceived as a 'necklace of experiences'.

The vision for the project was located in Brian's ideology of Gesamtkunswerk, "all-embracing work of art", where the wide range of media in which he works harmonise to become an environment in itself: a specially-designed woolen carpet, bordered by a fragmented Greek key and traversed by his signature line, leads the visitor from ground to first floor via a sweeping staircase, to a room with stained glass fanlight, windows and skylight, an interrelated hand-cut Venetian glass smalti mosaic floor, painted and gold leaf-covered wall panels and doors with individually designed cast-bronze door handles, all connected through by Clarke's signature calligraphic line. The mosaic artwork continues into the rooms adjacent to the landing, covering the floor and the walls of the bathroom, where a stained glass window with a text by Baudelaire, rendered in the owner's handwriting, transmits blue light across the mosaic. It fulfils the Austrian owner's brief of turning an unprepossessing corner of a fine house into an encompassing artistic event reminiscent of the Wiener Werkstatte.