Balcony Railing thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ironwork, Room 114e

Balcony Railing

2013-2014 (designed), 2018 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

British jewellery designer Shaun Leane was commissioned to design the balcony railings and gates across the façade of 21 Young Street, W8 5EH by the developer, Grainger plc. This new residential development in Kensington was designed by Assael Architecture.

Leane looked to transfer onto the building the greenery of neighbouring Kensington Square, where trees soften and dapple the light in contrast to the area’s linear, urban backdrop. Arbour is made up of 1,850 sculpted leaves and hand-made three-dimensional branches. Weaving their way across the façade, the density of the leaves varies on each balcony as if blowing in an autumnal breeze. Award-winning sculptural metalworkers Chris Brammall Ltd were Leane’s chosen fabricators.

The 21 Young Street commission was curated by Futurecity. Leane’s design was selected via competition by an Arts Advisory Panel comprising Grainger plc, Assael Architecture, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Victoria & Albert Museum and local residents. It is his first public art commission.

Shaun Leane (b.1969) is a British jewellery designer best known for his unique body of work fusing fashion, art and fine jewellery. His practice challenges the traditional remit of a goldsmith by applying exceptional craft skills to innovative materials and technology at the forefront of contemporary design. In both scale and complexity, Arbour demonstrates the magnitude of Leane’s creative ambition. Within the grand overall scheme, each balcony railing has been conceptualised as a unique object and executed with the same attention to detail as a bespoke piece of jewellery.

Founding his eponymous jewellery House in 1999, Leane has crafted award-winning jewellery and embarked on long-term collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Boucheron and Givenchy. He is a Freeman of the City of London and his designs have been described by Sotheby’s as ‘collectable antiques of the future’.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
PB182 Bronze, cast with a patinated finish
Brief Description
Balcony railing, bronze, Ulverston, made by Chris Brammall Ltd., 2018, designed by Shaun Leane, 2013-14 for the Young Street Development, London, Kensington.
Physical Description
Balcony railing, a rectangular frame of flat strip filled with curved rods, overlaid with cast bronze leaves in a rising pattern over the right hand half, extending beyond the top rail.



The outer frame, phosphor bronze flat bar PB102, the stems, phosphor bronze round bar, PB102, the leaves cast in 3% silicon bronze to help bronze flow into casting moulds, the leaves grafted on to stems using TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding and dressed flush, the frame and stems welded using the same process. All surfaces abrasive blast cleaned to allow patination to key to the surface, patination using warm process and liver of sulphur to get penny bronze and finished with warm renaissance wax and buffed when cool.
Dimensions
  • Height: 120.8cm
  • Width: 222.5cm
  • Of frame depth: 3cm
  • Weight: 120kg
Style
Production typesmall batch
Gallery Label
BALCONY RAILING, Arbour Bronze Cumbria, 2018 Made by Chris Brammall Ltd. Designed by Shaun Leane (b.1969) Commissioned by Grainger plc In September 2012, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea selected the property developer company, Grainger plc, along with Assael Architecture to create housing schemes for two council-owned properties within the area. The properties included a disused NCP car park building in Young Street, which connects High Street Kensington with Kensington Square. One of the conditions of the planning approval was that the west elevation of the housing scheme, which faced the street, had to contain an element of public art. Futurecity, a culture and place-making agency that encourages the UK property sector to incorporate contemporary artwork into their regeneration schemes, was appointed by Grainger to deliver this. Three artists were shortlisted. They developed proposals that they presented to an arts advisory panel comprising representatives from Grainger, Assael Architecture, RBKC, Futurecity, the V&A and local residents. The winner was Shaun Leane, an international jewellery designer best known for his sculptural pieces for the late Alexander McQueen. Leane’s jewellery house is a six-time winner of the UK Jewellery Designer of the Year Award, and in 2015 he was named Harper’s Bazaar International Jewellery Designer of the Year. The artwork, Arbour, is made up of 1,850 sculpted bronze leaves and handmade three-dimensional branches. Weaving their way across the building façade, the density of the leaves varies on each balcony as if blowing in an autumnal breeze, echoing the movement of the trees and plants found in the nearby Kensington Square Garden. M.18-2018 Gift of Shaun Leane, Chris Brammall Ltd. and Grainger plc (13/07/2018)
Credit line
Given by Shaun Leane
Object history
In September 2012, Grainger plc, a property development company of long standing was selected by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to develop housing schemes for two council owned properties within the borough. One of these was a redundant NCP car park building in Young Street, a short narrow street alongside the former Barker’s building which connects High Street Kensington with Kensington Square. In association with the firm of architects, Assael Architecture, a scheme for 53 flats was submitted to the RBKC on the 23rd of August 2013 and planning permission was granted on the 22nd of January the following year.



One of the conditions of the planning approval was that the west elevation of this block of flats, facing the street, had to contain an element of public art. This was to focus on the provision of street level railings and balustrades, pedestrian and vehicular gates on the main building. Futurecity, a culture and place making agency which encourages the UK property sector to invest and incorporate contemporary artwork in their regeneration schemes was appointed by Grainger to curate and deliver this commission. A shortlist of three artists were selected, the jewellers Jane Adam, Shaun Leane and the industrial product designer, Tord Boontje who were invited to respond to an artist’s brief. They developed concept proposals which they presented to an Arts Advisory Panel comprising of representatives from Grainger, Assael Architecture, RBKC, Futurecity, the Victoria and Albert Museum and local residents on July 8th 2014. Feedback was collated from the panel discussion and international jewellery designer, Shaun Leane, was selected as the winner.



On the 26th February, 2015, Grainger and Futurecity made a presentation to RBKC’S Public Art Panel outlining the commission and Shaun Leane’s concept. The design of the railings, titled `Arbour’ uses bronze cast leaf shapes embedded into the railings, balconies and gates across the front of the building which reflect the trees and planting found in the adjacent Kensington Square Garden. The panel enthusiastically endorsed the proposal. Fabrication and installation on the nearly completed building is now taking place and the project is due to be finished in June, 2018.



Shaun Leane (b.1969) is a British jewellery designer best known for his sculptural pieces for Alexander McQueen. His jewellery brand is a four-time winner of the UK Jewellery Designer of the Year Award and in 2015, he was awarded the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Award for Best International Jewellery Designer.



Because of the V&A involvement in the genesis of this project, Grainger plc has generously offered as a gift, a sample railing of Shaun Leane’s design for the V&A permanent collections. It is intended to put this on display in the Ironwork Gallery along with the other examples of contemporary ironwork in the collection.

Historical context
Artist's statement:



British jewellery designer Shaun Leane was commissioned to design the balcony railings and gates across the façade of 21 Young Street, W8 5EH by the developer, Grainger plc. This new residential development in Kensington was designed by Assael Architecture.



Leane looked to transfer onto the building the greenery of neighbouring Kensington Square, where trees soften and dapple the light in contrast to the area’s linear, urban backdrop. Arbour is made up of 1,850 sculpted leaves and hand-made three-dimensional branches. Weaving their way across the façade, the density of the leaves varies on each balcony as if blowing in an autumnal breeze. Award-winning sculptural metalworkers Chris Brammall Ltd were Leane’s chosen fabricators.



The 21 Young Street commission was curated by Futurecity. Leane’s design was selected via competition by an Arts Advisory Panel comprising Grainger plc, Assael Architecture, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Victoria & Albert Museum and local residents. It is his first public art commission.



Shaun Leane (b.1969) is a British jewellery designer best known for his unique body of work fusing fashion, art and fine jewellery. His practice challenges the traditional remit of a goldsmith by applying exceptional craft skills to innovative materials and technology at the forefront of contemporary design. In both scale and complexity, Arbour demonstrates the magnitude of Leane’s creative ambition. Within the grand overall scheme, each balcony railing has been conceptualised as a unique object and executed with the same attention to detail as a bespoke piece of jewellery.



Founding his eponymous jewellery House in 1999, Leane has crafted award-winning jewellery and embarked on long-term collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Boucheron and Givenchy. He is a Freeman of the City of London and his designs have been described by Sotheby’s as ‘collectable antiques of the future’.



Subject depicted
Summary
British jewellery designer Shaun Leane was commissioned to design the balcony railings and gates across the façade of 21 Young Street, W8 5EH by the developer, Grainger plc. This new residential development in Kensington was designed by Assael Architecture.



Leane looked to transfer onto the building the greenery of neighbouring Kensington Square, where trees soften and dapple the light in contrast to the area’s linear, urban backdrop. Arbour is made up of 1,850 sculpted leaves and hand-made three-dimensional branches. Weaving their way across the façade, the density of the leaves varies on each balcony as if blowing in an autumnal breeze. Award-winning sculptural metalworkers Chris Brammall Ltd were Leane’s chosen fabricators.



The 21 Young Street commission was curated by Futurecity. Leane’s design was selected via competition by an Arts Advisory Panel comprising Grainger plc, Assael Architecture, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Victoria & Albert Museum and local residents. It is his first public art commission.



Shaun Leane (b.1969) is a British jewellery designer best known for his unique body of work fusing fashion, art and fine jewellery. His practice challenges the traditional remit of a goldsmith by applying exceptional craft skills to innovative materials and technology at the forefront of contemporary design. In both scale and complexity, Arbour demonstrates the magnitude of Leane’s creative ambition. Within the grand overall scheme, each balcony railing has been conceptualised as a unique object and executed with the same attention to detail as a bespoke piece of jewellery.



Founding his eponymous jewellery House in 1999, Leane has crafted award-winning jewellery and embarked on long-term collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Boucheron and Givenchy. He is a Freeman of the City of London and his designs have been described by Sotheby’s as ‘collectable antiques of the future’.

Collection
Accession Number
M.18-2018

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record createdApril 3, 2018
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