David Kohn Architects
39–51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RT
+44 (0)20 7424 8596 tel
Eastcastle Street, with its generous ground floor showrooms and proximity to Oxford Street’s shops, was once the centre of London’s ragtrade. In the last few years the area has undergone a shift in identity with the departure of clothing manufacturers to the Far East, and the arrival of several East End art galleries. Stuart Shave Modern Art was the first gallery to open on Vyner Street in Bethnal Green which has since become the centre of the East End art scene. His arrival in the West End marks the beginning of a new phase in the gallery’s development, reinforced by the success of artist Nigel Cooke’s opening show, “ The New Accursed Art Club"
The new gallery occupies the ground floor and basement of a modest 1950’s office building. The design approach was to exploit the positive attributes of the existing building and urban context to the gallery’s advantage. Grey engineering brick piers in the new shopfront create a precise and suitably proportioned base to the brick clad structure above while the optically clear flush glazing accentuates the first gallery’s connection to the street. The layout of the interior is more like a house than a showroom, with a deep entrance loggia, lobby and changes of direction at the entrance to each room, that heighten the gradual sense of calm and remove from the street.
Whilst the galleries are firmly in the tradition of the “white cube”, the client’s characteristic informality steered the design. The office space is within the gallery, removing the familiar separation of the public and private sides of the art business; oak floors and off white wall linings ensure that the white hanging walls are framed within an interior architecture concerned with comfort as well as appearances.
Address: 23-25 Eastcastle Street
London W1W 8DF
Size: 540 sq.m
Completion date: May 2008
Design Team: David Kohn, Jack Green, Irene Leuthold
Main Contractor:Rem Projects
Structural Engineer: Alan Baxter & Associates
M+E Engineer: Mendick Waring
Flooring- Solid Wood Flooring
Bespoke joinery - Winchester Interiors
Bespoke furniture and fittings - 2D/3D
Terrazzo - W.B Simpsons & Sons
Electrical - Sparkforce
Photography: © Ioana Marinescu
Aluminium panels: Ultimet Alloys