Temple Back

Alexander Beleschenko, 'Temple Back', hand painted opaque enamels on laminated glass, 2009.


Ginkgo Projects worked with artist Alex Beleschenko on the Former South West Electricity Building at Temple Back in Bristol


Ginkgo Projects worked with artist Alex Beleschenko on the Former South West Electricity Building at Temple Back in Bristol. This development retained the façade of the original building and added to this the construction with two buildings; one residential and one office. On either side of this retained façade are areas that contain a glass curtain wall, which provides the new entrances to the building.

The aim of the commission was to enhance the identity and architectural detailing of the façade; the area of engagement being the glass entrance points and canopies within the new elements of the building. It was important that the work complements the heritage façade of the former South West Electricity Building, creating a sense of cohesion between the old and new architecture.

Alex Beleschenko worked with a new technique, utilising all the surfaces of a double glazed curtain wall to combine patterning and visual illusion with images and traditional painting techniques. The result is a work that adds a dynamic quality to the former electricity building, and eases the flow from old building to new.

Alexander Beleschenko

Glass artist Alexander Beleschenko’s is a two-time Royal Society of Arts Art for Architecture Award winner and honorary fellow of the Royal Society of British Architects (RIBA). He is renowned for his large-scale architectural glass works.

Beleschenko was born in Corby, Northants, in 1951 and studied fine art in various schools between 1969 and 1979, including the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Although his initial studies were in painting and printmaking, Beleschenko has become a specialist in creating works in glass to complement architecture. His works include installations for bridges, bars, offices, libraries and churches and his most famous commissions include Coventry’s Millennium Bridge and Southwark Station’s glass dome.

In a nod to his early training, Beleschenko utilises drawing, digital design and photography in many of his glass works.  Over the past 20 years Beleschenko’s works have varied greatly, touching upon different expressions of colour and form.

Reflecting on the collaborative process with architects that has become such a feature of his work, Beleschenko says: “Collaboration is both an attitude and a process. My attitude is one of openness and receptiveness."

Beleschenko lives and works in Swansea.

Ginkgo Projects

Ginkgo Projects is an independent consultancy offering art curation and commissioning services to a wide range of clients.

Our philosophy is driven by a desire to create unique opportunities for artists and designers. We aim to contribute fresh perspectives to built and natural environments that challenge assumptions about the spaces we inhabit.

Our clients include developers, local authorities, landscape and architectural practices and environmental and arts organisations. We create real opportunities for clients and artists to produce innovative work appropriate to the context, whether this is a new building or public space, work that is integrated into a space, stand-alone work or exhibition.

  • Commissioner

    UK & European (Templeback) Ltd

  • Produced by

    Ginkgo Projects

  • Partners

    Carillion and EPR Architects Ltd

  • Supported by

    UK & European (Templeback) Ltd