Forgotten sculpture unveiled at Leon House

An extensive piece of artwork by a renowned post-war sculptor and artist was unveiled at the official opening of Leon House.

William Mitchell’s artwork was rediscovered when work began on refurbishing the former modernist-designed office block, where it had been hidden for over a decade.

Originally commissioned by architects Tribich, Liefer & Starkin in the late 60s, the concrete sculpture takes its form on the building’s principal structural column and will now take pride of place in the reception lobby.

Sitting alongside the William Mitchell sculptural work is an original commissioned piece of art by Riccardo Paternò Castello, entitled View of Croydon.

Art historian Dr Dawn Pereira Ph.D, who is a research fellow at The Henry Moore Institute said: “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.”

Located in the heart of Croydon, Leon House is an example of modernist architecture. Its conversion into 263 one and two bedroom apartments is nearing completion.

A spokesperson from FI Real Estate Management said:
“We were pretty surprised when we began the refurbishment works on site to discover this huge artwork.
After speaking to art experts and local historians we realised the significance of the William Mitchell sculpture and began carefully uncovering it in order to restore it to its former glory.”

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