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A Global Bank

The City, London

The Andrew Martin design team, with Martin Waller at the helm, led the complete styling of the entrance hall of the London headquarters of a renowned, global bank.

With offices in New York, Singapore and Lagos and a major footprint in the Far East and Africa, the brief was to reflect the cultures of the bank's historic roots, bringing together their corporate authority with cultural creativity.

Entering the building, you are met with a traditional Thai sala, sourced from South East Asia and reconstructed to its original wooden form on stilts. This houses an antique Lana Buddha sitting on an ornately decorated ebony plinth and injecting Eastern politesse, tranquillity and intricate detailing to the company environment from the outset.

To the side there is a casual waiting area where seats are upholstered in handwoven textiles from Senegal. An original Senufo bed, carved out of a singular piece of wood from the Ivory Coast, has been reinvented as a coffee table.

Horse
Figure

Powerful red lacquer cabinets display a collection of Chinese, Indian and African artefacts. A stone horse majestically stands to attention, dating back over 700 years to the Song Dynasty which was aptly recognised for its prosperous economy and held the first government in world history to issue banknotes. There are also figures from the Khmer Empire, modern day Cambodia, from which the likes of Angkor Wat bear testimony to the era's immense power and wealth, impressive art and culture, architectural technique and aesthetics achievements: a physical

representation of the connection between financial authority and flourishing culture and the visual arts.

The finished look encapsulates Andrew Martin's unique touch on a project, putting original pieces at the forefront by curating extraordinary, one-off artefacts from around the world. It is about breathing personality into a space, even those stereotypically commercial, and creating surprise through the many fineries that the world holds.

Original_Artefacts
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