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Covent Garden Unveils Huge New Light Installation Throughout the Historic Market Building Launching in Partnership With Paul Smith

Launching on Friday 16th February, Covent Garden will unveil a brand new LED light installation throughout the historic Market Building, in partnership with Covent Garden resident designer Paul Smith. The installation will illuminate the arches of the Market Building with lights created in Sir Paul Smith’s Signature Stripe, creating a unique sensory light show celebrating both the historic architectural style of the Market Building and the designer’s distinctive colourful style. Launching to coincide with London Fashion Week on 16th February, the light show will run until Sunday 3rd March.

Running daily from 4pm until 10pm, the hourly display will illuminate over 1,000 lights across the building’s 36 arches through the Market Building’s North and South Hall’s. As part of this new permanent installation, a variety of coloured lights will run in sequence replicating Paul Smith’s distinctive and world famous Signature Stripe.

Sir Paul Smith has a long association with Covent Garden, with the brand’s Floral Street store its very first in London. The area’s rich, eclectic history drew the designer to the neighbourhood where he opened 44 Floral Street in 1979 and then acquired 41, 42 and 43 Floral Street in subsequent years. It is here that the Signature Stripe continues to appear on all manner of products from coats to knitwear, accessories and leather goods - as well as across the globe on the sides of buildings and hot air balloons.

Visitors to the light show will be able to learn more about the inspiration behind the Signature Stripe and animation of the Market Building with exclusive Paul Smith newspapers and branded flower barrows throughout Covent Garden.

The Market Building has evolved over many years, with the aim of conserving the history and tradition of the listed building, whilst modernising and celebrating it in a multitude of contemporary ways. Arts and culture has been a key pillar in this evolution, from large scale installations suspended from the roof of the building with artists Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst to Charles Pétillon filling the South Hall of the building with over 100,000 balloons. Anya Hindmarch has squeezed chubby inflatable hearts between the listed building pillars and Chila Burman delivered a neon dreamland that illuminated the building like never before. Last year, further change was implemented with the brand new Christmas decoration scheme which was the first to be delivered in almost a decade, and an innovative LED external lighting scheme has also been installed onto the iconic building’s four façades.

Michelle McGrath, Executive Director, Shaftesbury Capital, said: Covent Garden has a long history of championing arts and culture throughout the district and we are delighted to welcome one of Covent Garden’s longest standing retailers and global designer Paul Smith to be the first to curate the new LED lighting scheme for the Market Building. The Market Building is the heart of the Covent Garden estate and investing in preserving and celebrating its heritage will ensure it continues to be an icon for generations to come.”

Sir Paul Smith commented: “In many ways, Covent Garden is my London home! My shop on Floral Street was my first in London when I opened it in 1979 and my studio is only a stone’s throw away. It is wonderful to see Covent Garden’s connection to the arts is still as alive as it was when my shop first opened. This part of London is very special to me and I’m delighted that we can celebrate our world famous Signature Stripe in the heart of Covent Garden.”

The Paul Smith partnership will end on 3rd March, however, the light installation will remain live, with a series of illuminations to be announced at key points throughout the year in celebration of a number of calendar moments.


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