Stuart Shave Modern Art gallery by
David Kohn Architects



David Kohn Architects have completed their first built project, a new gallery space for Stuart Shave Modern Art in London.


The gallery is a renovation of the ground floor and basement of an office building constructed in the 1950s.


Kohn designed furniture and fittings for the gallery including door handles, a desk and bookstands.


Photographs by Ioana Marinescu.


Here's some information from David Kohn Architects:


David Kohn Architects have recently completed their first built project, a new contemporary art gallery in London’s West End for Stuart Shave.


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” (25 April -28 May 2008).


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.


David Kohn designed the gallery furniture and fittings, including an office desk, door handles and bookstands. All of the furnishings were designed to compliment a Vitsoe shelving system which stores the gallery’s extensive artists’ archive.


David Kohn Architects
David Kohn
Jack Green (Project Architect)
Irene Leuthold

Structural Engineer:
Alan Baxter & Associates

M+E Engineer:
Mendick Waring

Main Contractor:
Rem Projects


David Kohn Architects was established in 2007 by David Kohn, previously an Associate at Caruso St John Architects and project architect for the Gagosian Gallery and V&A Museum of Childhood.


The practice is currently working on a house for Stuart Shave in Norfolk, due for completion in December 2008, and a restaurant at the Royal Academy for Bistrotheque due to open in October 2008.



Posted on Monday June 2nd 2008 at 8:51 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • edward

    Crisp lines; muted tones: a fine renovation. I like the pale wood floor and absence of fussy details. I hope to see more of Mr. Kohn’s work on these pages.

  • Morgan

    That’s a great floor!

  • Theo


    A really nice renovation with some great details.

  • Andrew S.

    Beautifully detailed.

    Well done!

  • andy


  • Zenza

    Well… why not?

  • cpcp

    nice! the floor is great

  • Congrats on your first completed commission.
    Great job!

  • leandro locsin

    great planning! except for the toilet door swing.

    it lacks enriched texture and color considering there’s a lot of exceptional wallcover designers in London.

    you can have white wall but an expressed wall texture or 3D patterns. there’s matte surface, glossy surface, satin, blob, fluid, scored…… etc etc

    galleries doesnt have to have a corbusian default white “wall as canvass” approach.

    uber gasgas na kaya yan, iba naman kaya… malawak ang imahinasyon

  • joe

    yawn. kinda nice but polite and dull. grey london continues….

  • Joe, agree. Just nice planning doesn’t really make a design design. This context reminds me of the gallery storefront in NY by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci. That’s what I call design.

  • uglytecture

    Lets remind ‘leandro locsin’ about the disability descrimination act shall we; public buildings have to have a wheelchair complient WC on the ground floor, which have outward swinging doors… tut tut…

  • I agree and disagree with Joe:
    It’s dull, true, but it appears to be open and free flowing, and still is able to put you in intimate environment. The gallery is the frame. Its the artwork’s job to import the energy.