Culture is at the heart of Croydon. With its flourishing art scene, large scale street murals throughout the town centre, and a £10 million programme underway to create a Cultural Quarter… you can’t help but get inspired here.
Leon House, of course, is no different from its Croydon home thanks to the artistry built within its own walls. When you take a tour at Leon, you may be struck by the sense of creativity that runs right through the heart of this building.
Intrigued? Read on to find out a little bit more about the artists and their works which make Leon House the unique building it is.
Before the redevelopment of Leon House, there was an impressive – and extensive – piece of artwork hidden within the building which had been forgotten about for over a decade.
Renowned post-war sculptor and artist, William Mitchell was commissioned by architects Tribich, Liefer & Starkin in 1965 to create a unique piece for the building. The result was a relief design made of concrete that takes its form on the building’s principal structural column. Thanks to a careful team, his original artwork was lovingly uncovered during redevelopment and allowed to shine. It now takes pride of place in the reception lobby, on each of the 20 floors and the entire stairwell for residents to enjoy.
Following the uncovering, the artwork turned the heads of many in the art world, including art historian Dr Dawn Pereira Ph.D, research fellow at The Henry Moore Institute. At the grand unveiling, she commented: “William Mitchell’s concrete artworks at Leon House capture the skill and versatility of his craft; from the spectacular technical feat of the structural deep relief columns running through the two lower floors, to the subtle cast repeat patterns in every lift lobby level, to the unique hand-carved works in each staircase. With much of Mitchell’s work inspired by ancient civilisations, their rediscovery seems like we have found something from long ago; yet their reinstatement feels modern, enabling us all to share in their tactility and originality.”
We also know how important this artwork is to the Leon community – and understand that many decided to invest here for Mitchell’s work in itself. Leon resident Ivy can see why: “Property and art are two assets which massively retain their value. As soon as we saw the striking William Mitchell sculpture, we were sold. It’s not everyday you buy a home that features an unlisted masterpiece with such great cultural significance.”
Riccardo Paternò Castello
Before you get a glimpse of the William Mitchell, upon entering the lobby you might first spot another unique piece of artwork, this time created by Riccardo Paternò Castello. The full piece titled ‘View of Croydon’ by the italian artist, comprises nine individual canvases that each depict one of the many glorious views of Croydon accessible from Leon House.
Artist Riccardo was born in Catania in 1980 and, after attending prestigious academies in Rome and Florence, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan in 2004. Since then Ricardo has exhibited right across the world from Europe to Asia.
Using a combination of charcoal, acrylics and powders, Riccardo created a beautiful, abstract painting for the residents of Leon House to enjoy. On your next visit, why not try and see how many of the nine views you can see from the sky garden?
Of course, as the residents at Leon will already know, the artistry here doesn’t end with the pieces found in the communal areas; it also extends to each individual apartment where you’ll find design and interiors to match.
Every aspect of each apartment was designed to blend form and function with clean, modern and styled interiors. The sleek design found in the open plan living spaces are finished with Clarendon Carpets and Parador flooring, while each bathroom features carefully chosen ceramics and bespoke vanity units for a taste of luxury in your own home.
Of course, a Leon apartment also isn’t complete without ‘that’ view. This is why each comes with floor to ceiling windows which frame those stunning views of the Croydon skyline which inspired Riccardo. So you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sight of Croydon, right from the comfort of your sofa.