Sir Peter Blake’s “Our Fans” on the facade of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

As its kicks off a complete renovation of its historic building, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is taking the attention off its facelift with an artistic diversion.

The multimillion dollar construction plan is set to run through the spring of 2018, but the hotel will remain open throughout the process. To ensure that guests are greeted by a pleasant sight, the hotel has masked its façade in a large-scale collage by pop artist Sir Peter Blake.

Fanning out

Sir Peter’s work, titled “Our Fans,” is his largest scale piece to-date, at about 232 feet by 81.6 feet. Weighing over a ton, the poster took 10 hours to install.

The collage features 100 famous faces who are frequent guests of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park as well as the hotelier’s properties around the world, drawing from the brand’s “He’s a Fan, She’s a Fan” campaign (see story). These personalities include Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Sir Paul McCartney and Jenny Packam.

Collage is Sir Peter’s favored form of art. His poster for Mandarin Oriental is in the vein of his album art for The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

“This artwork was very different to my usual way of working,” Sir Peter said. “A collage is very time consuming and laborious, but this was more a matter of arranging the figures and making them work together – making sure no one had a cut-off shoulder or missing legs – that’s the skill of it. It was an amazing project to work on.

“Hopefully, people passing by will try to spot celebrities they recognize,” he said.

‘Our Fans’ by Sir Peter Blake

The poster, conceptualized with the brand’s creative advertising agency London, will be up for part of the multi-year renovation.

“We are delighted to showcase this original piece by such a talented artist in London, the home of our European flagship hotel,” said Jill Kluge, Mandarin Oriental’s Group Director of Brand Communications. “Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is part of the fabric of London life, and this exciting renovation project is designed to confirm it as one of the leading luxury hotels in the world. Sir Peter Blake’s artistic masterpiece not only pays tribute to the city, but also celebrates the Group’s global reach, in a truly original way,” she added.

When department store Fortnum & Mason was undergoing maintenance on its flagship Piccadilly building, it chose to do so in style with a façade covering designed by artist Rory Dobner.

Mr. Dobner transformed the tarps on the outside of the building to look like a black and white cartoon version of the store, with a giant butterfly motif. This mimics the design of the teaware the artist created exclusively for the retailer, and gave Fortnum & Mason the opportunity to promote the collection on the biggest billboard available–the side of its building (see story).

Likewise for Mandarin Oriental, this poster will serve functional and aesthetic purposes with the added benefit of marketing.

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