By Cassandra Balentine
Businesses that want to stand out visually look for innovative opportunities in a variety of avenues. The ability to transform a space by utilizing windows, walls, and floors is possible through visionary marketers, talented artists, and the right tools.
Tape Over is an international tape art crew established in Berlin in 2011. Its artists are able to monetize talent and passion by commissioning projects for clients using tape art.
Rooted in the subcultural electro scene of Berlin, Tape Over’s style includes elements of street as well as urban art, characterized by its versatility and fine detail.
Robert König, founder and creative director, Tape Over, says he left the corporate world and started studying things like entrepreneurship, marketing, and design from 2003 to 2008. In Berlin he founded a film production company and worked for several internet startups, launching his own startup in 2010. Through all of this he gained experience working with various materials for his art, eventually meeting his business partner Lamia Michna in that same year, who introduced him to tape art. Together they co-founded Tape Over in 2011.
Today Tape Over has a team of artists that operate on an international level. Its artistic range spans from street art to urban art, murals, installations, workshops, live performances, commissional tape art, tape mapping, store design, location design, and branding.
The crew has created tape art pieces all around the world, including Austria Switzerland, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the U.K., the U.S., and United Arab Emirates.
One of the team’s most recent projects was for a new construction development in Paris, France. It involved real estate company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield; Winy Maas, co-founder and principal architect, MVRDV; creative agency Magic Garden; as well as Tape Over.
The goal of the project, known as Ateliers Gaîté, was to transform a city block with a variety of spaces including a hotel, shopping center, office spaces, library, social housing, and education. The idea was to create a welcome and pedestrian- accessible building that utilized pieces of the previous structure.
Tape Over was commissioned by Magic Garden to put together a stunning representation of tape art murals on hundreds of windows throughout the property. The artists were asked to develop a concept that highlights the new building and entices those passing by to go inside.
“We focused on establishing Ateliers Gaîté as an art venue in its own right,” shares König. “Therefore we developed a large-scale concept that is an impactful scenographic tape art design that plays with the architecture.”
Inspired by the versatility presented by the building itself, which is colorful, the main visual concept is chromatic prism.
To create the desired visual effect it needed a special transparent dichroic film that could offer a multi-colored radiance. It found these attributes in ASLAN Selbstklebefolien GmbH’s ColourShift ASLAN SE 70, a transparent, dichroic film. The media is applicable on flat surfaces—indoors and outdoors—and offers two years of outdoor durability. It chose two of these films—Nebula and Solar.
Each ColourShift ASLAN E 70 product is designed to provide two different transparent dyed dichroic effects and creates a fluent switch of color when changing the viewing angle or lighting. It is ideal for reverse cut applications on glass for double-sided effects.
“The self-adhesive film displays a range of colors as you walk by. Every step you take changes your angle of vision and thus the visual perception of the color of the adhesive film,” explains König.
For the look and feel of a prism, the idea was to create a kaleidoscope effect by developing a pattern consisting of only isosceles and equilateral triangles. The triangles are arranged in different patterns so that each window looks a little different. “The overall aesthetic is the same, but each window has a unique design so that Ateliers Gaité can shine as the new vibrant center of the district,” comments König.
The result is an immersive design. “It doesn’t matter where you are, it has a colorful look and feel. While you’re moving it is changing. It feels very organic and interesting. You can look at this for ages,” he adds.
The project took more than a year and a half to design and two weeks to install—from October 1 to 15, 2022, with the help of 15 artists. The design was installed inside of the building, but is visible from the outside as well.
The triangles were precut by an outside firm with an automated cutter. König says the team used 15,000 cut triangles in total for the installation.
Installation only required a few tools, including a ladder, scaffolding, spray bottle, squeegee, and a ruler to determine the axis.
Artists at Work
Tape Over enjoys a unique niche where its artists can collaborate both for artistic projects as well as commissioned work. Projects like Ateliers Gaité present a fun challenge that truly makes an impression.
Mar2023, Digital Output