Change – The Old Fire Station, Oxford
An arts commission and project with a difference for EMSEA.
Client: Rachel Barbaresi & Emma Reynard
Sector: Architecture and Design
Material: Stainless Steel
Machinery: Bystronic 6KW ByAutonom Laser
Emsea Ltd was carefully selected by collaborating artists Rachel Barbaresi and Emma Reynard for a project with a difference. Lead artist, Rachel Barbaresi, headed up a commission by Arts at the newly refurbished Old Fire Station in Oxford. Working alongside ten artist participants, recruited from homeless projects around the city, the contributors experimented with a wide range of artistic processes centred round the theme ‘Growth’ at the beautiful Botanic Garden of Oxford University.
From drawing to Bystronic laser cutter
Posing an interesting project for the Tewkesbury-based engineering firm, Emsea engineers took the vector drawings created from the imaginative handiwork of the contributors, and carefully oversaw the cutting process on the Bystronic laser cutter.
The overall design of the main atrium wall consisted of 40 panels, with some repetition of designs at different scales to construct a ‘scatter’ effect. Emsea were able to craft each panel individually using a mix of finishes including mirror polished steel and brushed steel, to contrast with the industrial look of the building.
Rachel Barbaresi noted: “Emsea staff were very accommodating and spent a lot of time explaining how the machines and processes work. By imparting their knowledge and ensuring we fully understood the processes, we were able to work alongside the engineers to find solutions to design obstacles.”
Rachel added: “This work has come to symbolise the ambition of the Old Fire Station – supporting the professional development of artists and giving homeless people opportunities to develop skills and confidence; we are proud to have played our part.”
Further information on the project can be found at: