Deirdre Dyson, Kings Road

A 19th century corner site shop with three cluttered floors above ground and a dark hidden basement below, the existing building provided a considerable design challenge. Only the exterior walls of the old building were retained.

Central to the design solution was a determination to intrigue customers into exploring the five levels including the new roof terrace that make up the gallery. Moving the entrance to the corner allowed for the installation of a generous uninterrupted shop window.

Unexpected and inviting, natural light streams into the ground floor spaces through glass brick walls at the back of the gallery. Glimpses of the upper floor balconies within an atrium that extends through the upper floors entice customers into climbing the staircase.

The staircase itself, cantilevered with open risers gentle in height, allows the gallery spaces to flow and connect. Natural light from the skylight above the staircase draws the eye up towards the terrace on the roof.

Skylights also bring natural light into the basement which has been enlarged and opened up to create a combined office and creative studio.

Materials, finishes and textures were chosen for intrinsic qualities able to accentuate, through both empathy and sympathetic contrast, the exquisite delicacy of the designs and the tangible softness of the silk and wool from which the carpets are so carefully woven.