£19M Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art unveils retail designs

Retail design consultancy Colin Williams Design and sculptor Andrew Miller have joined forces to create an unusual retail outlet at the soon-to-open £19m Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

The shop is made entirely from black Corian and the 3D structural form is designed to look more like an art installation than a traditional art gallery shop. The trapezium structure means that some of the shelves within the retail outlet are not horizontal, creating unusual spaces and voids for the shopper to experience. Miller conceived the structural design of the shop and Colin Williams Design advised on how best to implement the design in order to create a suitable retail environment.

For example, the consultancy created a second ‘grid’ shelf system that is applied across the structure to help merchandise goods. Colin Williams Design and Andrew Miller were jointly appointed to the project last year.

‘This sets up a different appreciation of the retail space in general. It was a very interesting exercise on how to preserve the integrity of a structure that must retail products. Lots of the traditional retail rules just don’t apply here,’ says Colin Williams, managing director of Colin Williams Design.

The gallery will open on 26 January and has been designed by architect Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects. The gallery will house a collection of 1000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures from artists like Ben Nicholson, David Bomberg, Stanley Spencer, Gwen Jones, Bridget Riley and David Hockney.

The gallery will also include a contemporary jewellery collection, comprising precious and non-precious jewellery, and a ceramic collection that charts the ceramic movement from the 1920s to the present day. It will bring together the town’s art and craft collections for the first time.


• January 2007 – £19m Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art opens shop designed by Colin Williams Design and sculptor Andrew Miller
• November 2006 – Natural History Museum opens dinosaur-themed store designed by Lumsden Design Partnership
• March 2006 – Victoria & Albert Museum opens luxury museum shop designed by Eva Jiricna Architects

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