Cooling Bros Glass Co worked closely with artist Lorenna Grant to create two striking ImagInk glass artworks for the Quest Apartment Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Located on Pakenham St in Fremantle’s historic West End, the recently redeveloped Quest Fremantle features ‘The Folly of Follies’, the glass artwork, which can be viewed prominently from the corner of Pakenham and Short Streets, in addition to an internal artwork in the hotel foyer.

In architectural terms, the folly (derived from the French “folie” to mean ‘delight’) describes a costly building constructed primarily for a decorative purpose. The original nickname for the Manning Hall building, ‘Manning Folly’ referred to its peculiar architecture and the immense amount of money spent in its construction and exterior embellishment.

Constructed in 1858 by Charles Manning, a prominent Fremantle merchant and a passionate astronomer, the building with its unusual adornments was demolished in 1929 to become the John Lysaght Warehouse. The original façade was retained and it is today recognised as a building of considerable significance and an authentic example of the Inter-War Chicagoesque style warehouse.

Inspired by the interesting history of the site, artist Lorenna Grant created the striking ImagInk glass artworks for Quest Fremantle.

According to Grant, while the original structure is long gone, the artworks, both interior and exterior, wish to reference evidence of the actual original domed observatory, while implying designs of old architectural ‘blue prints’ and Manning’s passion for astronomy.

The challenge for Cooling Brothers was to recreate Grant’s vision to variable scales, while maintaining the integrity of the colour story and underlying meaning. When applying art to large facades for ImagInk printing, the sense of scale in the initial conceptual stages may not be immediately apparent. By combining the concept with digital manipulation and rigorous testing, one will be able to ensure the outcome correlates with the artist’s original intention.

Cooling Brothers worked closely with Grant to provide samples in suitable opacities and scale, which she could then use for testing with the architect, lighting technicians and builder. Issues such as glare were resolved through collective discussions, and the result was an atmospheric blue glow from the third floor where hotel guests can retreat to enjoy a view from above to the activity of the street below. From the street by day and by night, the Folly of Follies is a stunning example of the vibrancy, which can be created with ImagInk ceramic printing.

Grant worked with the architect, Bollig Design Group and the builder, Doric on the project. The artworks were created using 13.52mm custom laminate glass (exterior) and 10mm toughened glass (interior) and full colour ImagInk.

Image: ‘The Folly of Follies’ Courtesy of Quest Fremantle