Art Consultant in Construction Industry

Art Consultant in Construction Industry

Art Consultant can be part of the Project team, on many construction projects. Art Consultant manages art collection, works within the Project team, in line with Scope, within the budget and Programm. The Art Consultant is responsible for creating the art collection, artefacts and accessories for investment purpose, to enhance the final interior design of the property. 

The Art Consultant develops an art collection for each Project. His primary objectives are to understand the client's strategy and art needs. Each art collection has to possess originality, uniqueness and innovation, reflective of the design solution and geographical location of a specific project.

The collections always represent a result of the collaboration of the art Consultant, Project team and Client. He helps the Client to express his values and creates identity in physical spaces through artwork that aligns with his philosophies. 

The Art Consultant can be hired by the Client or his representative for the Project of different scale or building types like office buildings, hotels, health care facilities, libraries, or private premises … Every project is specific, and every art collection sends a specific message. For instance, in healthcare facilities, art collections usually create a positive atmosphere, in educational premises motivate the users, while in the workplace improves and enhances company culture. Each artwork collection follows the overall design concept, adding extra value to space.

Some Art Consultants are specialized in certain types of the project like the hospitality sector (hotel and luxury resorts). Working with clients, project team and hospitality specialists, Art Consultant creates collections that should tell the story of the brand. In this case, Art Consultants help the client to choose the right kind of art that suits his branding and to send the right message to guests. Selected pieces create the overall mood for visitors that the client wants to achieve. For example, authentic artworks contribute to creating a sense of place, trying to achieve a long-lasting connection with gests. 

The Art Consultant can be individuals, firms, or joint ventures. His engagement may be a one-off or part of long-term cooperation between the Client and Consultant.

The art collections can consist of art, artefacts and accessories. The paintings are most common in use, but there are plenty of other mediums, like sculpture (small scale to monumental), prints to textiles, other accessories which can be converted into an aesthetically adequate work of art for the building’s interior. A variety of options add visual interest and remove the sense of monotony.

The style (traditional or contemporary), dimension, colour schemes of the artworks are always chosen to fit into the interior design concept.

Art collections may consist of original works, reproduction of original works, photographs or their different combinations. One of the possibilities, for the Hotel property, is that original artworks and accessories are selected for the public areas. For luxury suites (Presidential and Royal) can be selected unique, original artwork too. In Standard guest rooms, artwork can be reproductions of original works or photographs in line with the colour schemes package. Artwork for guestroom corridors and terraces can be with reproductions of original works, selected so that no corridor art repeats. The dimensions should be also considered because large pieces have a great impact on space so they are often selected for public areas. Art Consultant can even commission artwork to be made for a special occasion, if it fits into the budget and if such are space requirements. 

The sources for the artworks can be international or national art market. Sometimes the client’s strategy is to showcase the local creators. In that case, the collection reflects the talent of the local community and showcase the work of already established or emerging artists. The local art community can engage through established institutions or schools and thus discover young talents. Art school competitions can be the source of local talent and will generate interest and get a positive response from the community.

Appropriate artworks can be commissioned directly from artists, painters, sculptors or the galleries and other art sources.

The requirements relating to Art collection are defined in the Design Brief. During the process, an Art Consultant consults the Client (businesses or individuals) about his strategy:which pieces of art they should acquire, how to send the right message …. Art Consultants can help the client to build his business, or in some cases to transform a business. Such Clients understands the importance of corporate branding and the role that a properly considered artwork can play in sending the right message to the outside world.

The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

What does an Art Consultant do? 

What Art Consultant do, how they work and what is the cost of their services, vary depending on the Project. 

The requirements are defined by the Design Brief which describes art consultancy services for each Project. Design Brief may be modified as the scope of work is refined. 

It is required that Art Consultant possess the ability to understand and convey a brief from the client to the artist, making the design ‘idea’ a ‘reality’, working within a budget and timeframe.

Job description 

The scope of work of an Art Consultant usually includes the following services:

  • Design services and Budget management:   developing art plans, specifications, and budget control
  • Artwork procurement: sourcing, negotiating and procurement services 
  • Transport and Storage services: shipping, and insurance with documentation and licenses obtaining
  • Art installation service: professional installation, framing, setup, and display
  • Inventory services: the collection of all information about Art collection in the agreed format

Specific requirements can be defined for Art Consultant depending on the Project. The same scope applies to the full project construction and Model Room. 

To fulfil contracted obligations, the Art Consultant works closely and coordinates with the Project Team, especially with Interior Designer and other relevant Consultants. The placement of all artworks, artefact and accessory is determined by the Art Consultant with the Interior Designer. Where relevant, the placement of art objects is determined with the Architect, Landscape Architect or other Consultants.

He also works closely with national and international galleries, recognized and local artists, and other reliable art sources to offer the Client the appropriate range of art objects.

During the Project process, the Client and his Representative provide in timely manner documentation or information that the Consultant require for the performance of his Services. Documentation may include accurate decisions, approvals or other confirmations or instructions. 

The Client provides facilities, other assistance, in line with the Contract.

The Client also obtains and maintain any necessary licenses, permits, consents and other approvals in connection with the Project.

Programme

The Art Consultant needs to ensure that his work is performed within the mutually agreed Programme. The Consultant provides a detailed schedule of his works, in line with the Project Programme. The program requirements may be modified during the Project.

Budget 

At the beginning of work, the Consultant is acquainted with the Client’s budget guidelines and it is the Consultant’s obligation and responsibility to perform his services within these constraints. In case the Artwork budget is beyond the intended and mutually agreed, the Consultant redesigns his documentation at no additional cost to the Client ( if agreed so).

Deliverables

At the beginning of the Project, Art Consultant provides a detailed schedule of the intended deliverables for each phase of work. During all phases of the Project, Art Consultant provides necessary designs and clarifications on a timely basis.

The Colony Grill Room in The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
The Colony Grill Room in The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Stages of work 

The work process of an Art Consultant consists of several stages. 

Phase One: Engagement - Taking the Brief and necessary inputs 

After officially engagement on the Project, an Art Consultant meets with the Client and Project team to obtain or confirm inputs relating to artwork, necessary for the performance of his Services. 

On the meetings with the Project team (interior designers, architect, others if necessary), Art Consultant gets acquainted with the general information about the Project like scale of the Project, its structure, than interior and architectural design solutions. The Art Consultant assesses the scope relating to the Art Collection like what areas of the building need artwork or what areas are excluded from his work. He also clarified the collection items by areas and type of artworks, art packages and their repetition.

Instructions regarding the stylistic direction of works of art, their themes, color palette are important for creating a harmonious space solution.

Type of Artwork can be original Artwork, reproductions of original works or photographs, depending on the budget. Requirements for interior sculptures and sculptures in the exterior landscape are also defined.

Another important topic discussed at these meetings is the Project Timeline. If necessary, Art Consultant updates the program submitted with his offer, in line with the Project program.

In this phase, Art Consultant works with the Client to establish a budget for the Project relating to Art Collection and defines Budget constraints.

Deliverables

During this phase, there are no deliverables from Art Consultant. 

The Architect, Interior Designer(s) and Landscape Architect deliver Art Consultant a complete set of plans and elevations along with recommended overall dimensions for artwork locations. This documentation serves as the basis for the Art Consultant’s work.

The Cub Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
The Cub Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Phase Two: Art Concept - Outline Presentation and Example Costs

During this phase, the Consultant prepares preliminary plans and elevations of the artwork locations for review with the Client, Interior Designer and where relevant the Architect and Landscape Architect. The Art Consultant works with the Lighting Consultant to coordinate all artwork placements. Art Consultant lease with Interior designer to prepare and present Artwork package to the Client with suggested location for all Artworks. 

This outline presentation with initial visual ideas relating to artwork includes names of artists, dimensions and materials of artworks, location plans with coordinates specification codes.

Art Consultant prepare Indicative schedule of costs to help establish an overall artwork budget.

The consultant continues to develop the plans and artwork selection for the area within the scope. He ensures the artwork program is fully coordinated with relevant Consultants.

Consultant reviews the work of this phase to ensure that the budget requirements are being met within of approved budget.

If necessary, the Art Consultant revises any necessary changes to his documentation.

Art Consultant receives Client’s approval of Art Program, preliminary budgeting and go-ahead to proceed.

Deliverables

During this phase, the Consultant prepare:

  • Preliminary plans and elevations indicating recommended Artwork placement for review with the Client, Interior Designer and where relevant the Architect and Landscape Architect.
  • Concept boards required to describe the character of the artwork for the spaces. 
  • This presentation can be comprised of sketches, computer renderings, photographs, images, materials and cut sheets showing the artwork concept.
  • Revised plans and elevations where required indicating recommended Artwork placement, complete with specification codes.
  • Preliminary list of artists and type of works.
  • Preliminary budget for all proposed artworks.

Phase Three: Art Development - Full Presentation and Full Schedule of Costs

Based upon the approved Design Development and written authorization by the Client, the Consultant finalizes the artwork, artefacts and accessory floor plans, elevations and specifications.

The documentation consisting of the floor plans and the relevant elevations do not represent the construction documentation. All solutions and information relating to methods of attaching or fixing on different substrates or structural requirements for support or stability are in the Project Architect’s Construction Documents.

Art Consultant performs Site visits to obtain necessary information, if necessary.

In this phase, the Consultant prepares a Full Presentation (a visual example relating to each artwork for all areas of the Project) and the full Schedule of costs.

Art Consultant may provide maquettes for signature pieces and establish a production timeline.

Deliverables

During this phase, the Consultant prepare:

  • Specifications that comply with the agreed standard format. A detailed Budget summary by item and area type, confirming compliance with the Client’s budget is included.
  • Samples of framing and matting materials and finishes presented in a control book format.
  • Final location plans with coordinated specification codes.
  • The weights and dimensions for the Architect to ensure adequate structure and blocking is provided for support.
  • The contracted numbers of final approved specifications.

 

Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Phase four: Artwork coordination - Purchasing and Production  

In this phase, Art Consultant as the Client's representative, perform the purchase of all paintings and sculpture, based upon the approved documentation and written authorization by the Client. To this end, the Art Consultant collaborates with artists and galleries

If necessary, he performs site visits to collect all necessary information. Art Consultant provides suggested lighting information to interior designer and lighting consultant.

Art Consultant also coordinates packaging, handling of all approved artworks as required. He assists with the coordination of shipping approved artworks and provides the necessary documentation to shippers. 

It is also necessary to ensure artwork adheres to safety standards (engage structural engineers when deemed necessary).

If it is contracted, the Art Consultant design and organize the production of custom framing and mirrors, which allows that artworks fit perfectly in specific spaces. Art Consultant examines prototypes, finish samples, shop drawings and suppliers, to ensure conformance to the design intent and approved material specifications.

Deliverables

During this phase, the Consultant prepare:

  • Revised Construction Documents if necessary, with incorporated selected alternatives and other revisions.

 

The Roosevelt Bedroom at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
The Roosevelt Bedroom at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Phase five: Commissioning process - Art Delivery and Installation

The installation of Artwork starts before opening and after FF&E installation. The consultant prepares artworks for the delivery  (for air/sea/road transport), provides delivery and installation.

Art Consultant coordinate with Client or his representative and Interior designer on all installation details of artworks. He specifies a list of any necessary tools, scaffolds, lifts  required for installation. These items will be provided by the Client or in line with the Contract. The responsible person will establish a qualified team for the installation of all kind of artworks (including sculptures). The Art Consultant will coordinate with the Project manager on the phasing of the works.

It is necessary that Art Consultant is present for the installation of all artworks, artefacts and accessories and oversees art installation. During the works, the Consultant works with the Interior Designer, Architect and Lighting Consultant to finalize all locations and placement on site.

After installation, Art Consultant prepares a Deficiency Inspection list for all areas with participation from the Client, Architect and Interior Designer (others if necessary).

The Art Consultant completes a set of drawings indicating the final locations of artwork upon completion of the project. All drawings are produced in the agreed format. Usually, the book with coordinated specification follows the drawings with an image of each piece of art, with coordinated specification codes and artist information (identifying the artist and providing his brief biography and work).

Art Consultant also prepares Manual specifications with advice on cleaning and maintenance of delivered items.

Deliverables

During this phase, the Consultant prepare:

  • Deficiency Inspection list
  • Set of drawings (plans and elevations) indicating final locations of artwork upon completion of the project. 
  • The book with an image of each piece of art with agreed information.  
  • Manual specifications
The room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
The room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Art Consultant’s fee 

The fee for Art Consultant covers the required scope of work (a complete set of drawings for placement of artworks, specifications for the project, review of all submittals... delivery of artworks).  

The Art Consultant and the Client mutual agree about the consultancy fee and its structure based on the Consultant’s offer. There is a possibility that the Consultant’s fee is counted percentage-based. 

The Consultant provides Rate Sheet which defines hourly rates for professional and non-professional personnel staff. This can be the basis for calculating Additional services.

Consultant and Client also agree about billing the travel expenses of the Art Consultant.

The Consultant's fee is not a determining factor for the client in selecting the most qualified Art Consultant.

Additional notes

Construction projects are usually complex and can pose various internal and external risks. 

There are certain points omitted or not clearly defined in the mutual agreement between the Client and Art Consultant. During the Project process, such issues can cause the uncertain productivity of resources and risks. To avoid such a situation, it is necessary to:

  • determine and confirm Artworks Budget in line with Project Budget
  • determine and confirm Artworks Program in line to Project Program
  • define the correct scope of work for Consultant 
  • determine the roles and responsibilities within the Project 
  • define the art collection: types of artworks needed and exclusions
  • define whose responsibility are costs for crating, shipping, storage facility costs and installation 
  • define whose responsibility are costs relating to Customs brokerage, import taxes, tariffs, duties and withholding tax
  • define whose responsibility is to provide local installers
  • define whose responsibility is to provide required tools for installation
  • define rates for additional services of the Art Consultant (and his team members)  
  • define billing the travel expenses of the Consultant
  • define billing the Consultant’s costs of the couriers, printing, translation fees, visas 

If it is possible to identify and categorize some risks before the start of the project, possible losses will be avoided. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid risks as there are bound to be unknown factors that arise over the course of a project.

Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Richmond International
Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Richmond International

Why engage an Art Consultant for Construction Project?

 Art consultants procure artworks and find exactly what the Client wants, including the price. He collaborates with various artists and manufacturers to find artworks that are aligned with the Client’s brand. Thanks to its experience, relationships and expertise in procuring artworks, Art Consultant has the ability to provide the best price and timely service, while achieving the perfect look and feel for the Client’s business. They simplify part of the process and make it easy and timely. The advantages of professional art consulting services on the Construction Projects are that save time and money. That is why the engagement of an Art Consultant is beneficial because it has a positive impact on the budget and delivery time.

Art consultants can help transform a business and help the Client communicate with the end-user of the space through art as the artworks are an efficient way to convey a business’s identity.

On the other hand, Art Consultant requires additional resources in the budget.

Antony Gormley's Sculpture, The Beaumont Hotel  Image courtesy Richmond International
Antony Gormley's Sculpture, The Beaumont Hotel
Image courtesy Richmond International

It is up to each Client to define his strategy and decide if the Art Consultant on his Project is a Valuable Resource for Projects or Project cost.

When Art Collection support the independent spirit of the Hotel

As an example of how important is an Art collection for one Project, I choose The Beaumont hotel in London

The task set before the design team responsible for the reconstruction of the Art Deco building designed by architects Wimperis and Simpson from 1925-26, was to restore the soul of the building while respecting historical characteristics and to provide modern comfort for the hotel guests. From that point, the design team started their work.

After reconstruction, the Grade II Listed building become a five-star luxury hotel located in a peaceful part of London, in the heart of Mayfair close to Bond Street and Selfridges, near Brown Hart Gardens. This building was originally known as Macy's, erected as a car garage and remained in the same function till 2010, occupied by Dagenham Motors Ltd and later by Avis Rent-A-Car.

The Beaumont hotel was opened in 2014 by the founders of the Wolseley and the Delaunay, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (restaurateurs Corbin & King) as their first hotel.

The owners entrusted the interior design to Fiona Thompson,principal of Richmond. Her team worked in close collaboration with Jeremy King and other members of the delivery team: ReardonSmith Architects, Chelsom responsible for Lighting design and many others. 

Starting from the brief, the Richmond team was looking for solutions that recapture the spirit of old-world luxury. They found inspiration in the original, four-storey building, its surroundings and the great Art Deco hotels of the 1930s.

The design solution retaining the original façade made of faux-Portland-stone taking the interior back to the art deco roots.

The interior was perfectly balanced from its unique pieces of furniture, materials, textures, colour schemes, lighting design to the thoughtful art collection.

The art items are well incorporated in the interior, with the compositions which contribute to the glamour of the hotel. They give to the hotel a welcoming atmosphere and a note of luxury.

The art collection was selected by Richmond in close collaboration with the owner, to commission and source the artwork for Beaumont and its ambiences.

The variety of items like the antique and vintage pieces, as well as original works of art, posters and photographs were placed throughout the space: in Food and beverage areas. in each the Beaumont’s rooms and suites.

The Colony Grill Room is surrounded by specially-commissioned original murals and caricatures. The Cub Room is a bar and lounge for the exclusive use of hotel residents and their visitors. There is also the painting, interesting photos, a hand-made art deco carpet and a varied mix of bespoke and original chairs.

The interior of the American Bar was changed in 2019. That year, the hotel’s freeholder, the Grosvenor Estate, sold its lease to Hotel Company (EHC), owned by the Barclay brothers (The Ritz, Daily Telegraph, Spectator etc), four years after the hotel was opened.

The Cub Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Beaumont
The Cub Room at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Beaumont

American bar was soft’ refurbishment and supplemented with a new selection of artworks like painting and original posters from the 1920s and 1930s, original Picasso vase or ceramics from the designer Luke Edward Hall. The American bar was newly named Magritte bar because of the reproduction of the Le Maître d'École (1954) from Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. The Interior of the bar this time has been designed by Nina Campbell. The Hong Kong-born designer Arnold Chan was commissioned to create a lighting scheme that highlights the bar, as well as the collection of artworks.

Art is present not only inside the Hotel.It is impossible to miss the enormous statue leaning forward from the façade, carved into its corner. This sculpture is three-storey high, made of steel block by Antony Gormley. The work of art was created as an installation depicting a man crouching with his arms around his knees.

This outside piece of art, inside the building, is Room designed by Antony Gormley as the bedroom ten meters high, clad in dark fumed oak, and furnished with only a bed, which adds a unique contemporary dimension.

The interior of the hotel fulfilled the project brief and returned the building to the original roots of the art deco style, achieving the requirements for the comfort of the 21st century.

Lobby detail at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International Image Beaumont
Lobby detail at The Beaumont Hotel, interior design Richmond International
Image Beaumont

The Art Collection contributes to design solutions, adds quality to space, enhances the hotel experience and first-class luxury.