Great Portland Estates transforms retail space into immersive art exhibition at 95 New Bond Street

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Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) has transformed its retail space on 95 New Bond Street into an immersive art exhibition as part of its plans to reinvigorate this world-famous shopping destination.

GPE has worked in partnership with leading British contemporary artist LUAP to curate a five-day exhibition based around LUAP’s signature motif: The Pink Bear. The life-sized teddy bear with magenta pink fur will be represented through unseen photography, paintings, installations, sound, and film.

The exhibition, entitled “The unconscious therapy”, is open to the public free of charge and follows on from an initial pop-up by GPE and LUAP in the windows of 95 New Bond Street. It is part of GPE’s wider aim to draw back footfall to Bond Street by curating places that offer experiences – not just retail.

At its 1.3-acre mixed-use Hanover development, just a few metres away, there will be a public art installation, new public courtyard and new restaurant as well as offices and brand new luxury retail units at 72-65 New Bond Street.

The exhibition will last from October 13 to 17 during Frieze London and take over all three storeys of the 95 New Bond Street space. Installations include a room covered in magenta pink fur. On certain days there will be a live DJ and cocktails and canapés inspired by The Pink Bear, provided by art-led restaurant The Daisy Green Collection.

Experiences remain essential to the future of retail and GPE is aligning its approach with that of its tenants – creating places and destinations that inspire. As part of this it is adapting traditional shopping districts such as Oxford Street and Bond Street to meet the changing demands of consumers. Earlier this year GPE announced that it had pre-let 15,200 sq ft of retail space at 70 Oxford Street W1 to competitive socialisation operator Boom: Battle Bar (BBB). BBB will offer a unique leisure and gaming experience with a variety of activities, cocktails and street food in an excellent location opposite the new Elizabeth Line.

The show follows LUAP’s hugely successful exhibit at Fulham Town Hall’s “Art in the Age of Now” event earlier in 2021, which attracted more than 25,000 visitors from across the country. LUAP was one of a number of leading British artists who exhibited.

Senior portfolio manager, Sarah Goldman, says: “The world of retail is evolving. Shopping areas are no longer simply places of transaction. They need to offer experiences to draw back footfall. At GPE we want to help lead the retail recovery and are committed to reimagining our spaces to ensure they reflect what today’s consumers want and need. This exhibition is part of that.”
Paul Robinson, aka LUAP, says: “Art will play a key role in helping to fill the voids, both visual and emotional, that have appeared in the past few years. Creativity will bring our high streets back to life. With this exhibition at 95 New Bond Street, I wanted to demonstrate the creative potential that retail spaces can have.”
95 New Bond Street is a flagship retail space of 6,000 sq ft, available to let on a new 24-month lease, ideal for luxury, concept, and experiential stores.

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