We were asked to transform a drab former dry-cleaners premises into a stage set for the sale of exquisite traditional hand made fabrics and cushions. Our clients wanted a finely detailed traditional shopfront and this was also a requirement of the freeholders and the planning authority.
The premises included a small lightwell against the party wall about half way down its length. By inserting new openings on all three sides of this, we able to bring daylight into the back of the shop and to open up the formerly dark and enclosed basement as an additional sales area.
On the ground floor, we created two classical ‘rooms’ for the display of merchandise with a sales space beyond designed round the lightwell. From the street, looking in past the window display, the interior of the shop is viewed through a second ‘window’ which can be transformed from internal to external mode.
Extensive structural repairs and damp proofing were required to the shell as a prelude to shopfitting. The new structure and fittings are mainly MDF on timber framing: the floor is salvaged pine board and the two marble fireplace surrounds were found by the client. Apart from specialist paint finishes, we were responsible for the design and completion of the whole project including the shop fittings and lighting.
Our clients acquired a second premises some time later which again needed extensive alteration. A tight programme was set in order to house their rapidly expanding business.
Work on site began almost as soon as the lease had been signed with a brief to fit out the shop at ground and basement level and to refurbish the offices and maisonette above.
Following the initial refurbishment we were asked to design a glazed extension to the shop to provide studio/office space. By responding to the constraints of the site we were able to produce a structure which was completely concealed from street views – a factor that assisted in our successful appeal against the local authorities refusal for consent.