Lowe and Partners Headquarters, The Grace Building
W. R. Grace Building, Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York
1994 – 1995
In 1994, Brian was commissioned by Lowe and Partners to create an artwork for a site in Manhattan's W. R. Grace Building, where their headquarters then occupied four floors. In response, Clarke designed a monumental floor mosaic for one of the rooms. Additionally, Clarke's Chelsea Window was installed in the headquarters, the two vividly-coloured, abstract works linking the multi-floor office's interior scheme, by architects Sedley Space. The Chelsea Window, a major stained glass work first commissioned by Frank Lowe in 1986 for the Glebe Place project (a Gesamtkunstwerk in Charles Rennie Mackintosh's former London home), was installed above the office's main stairway as a backlit wall of glass – its glow and scale connecting multiple floors vertically. The Grace Building Mosaic is made of hand-cut Venetian glass smalti, measuring 120 x 144 inches, and was situated in the ante-room to the dining room at Lowe SMS. The 50-storey skyscraper, located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas, has a distinctive curved facade, and was built by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and designer Gordon Bunshaft in 1974.