Unilever moots HQ gallery space

Unilever is considering designing a public art gallery and restaurant inside its London headquarters, Design Week can reveal.

The gallery, which would house some of the company’s art collection, would form part of a two-year refurbishment scheme to overhaul its historic headquarters, Unilever House, located at London’s Blackfriars Bridge (pictured right).

Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox is leading the project and it is likely it will take the creative lead developing concepts for the gallery, though there may be other opportunities for other creatives to get involved.

Unilever held a pitch six months ago that is understood to have involved 20/20, Imagination, Wolff Olins and KPF. Its aim was to select a group to determine use of public space in the building.

A lighting group is believed to have been recently appointed to work on the gallery, and a high-profile restaurant may also be in the pipeline. The site is also expected to house a ‘showcase’ area for Unilever’s products.

Part of the need for additional space to display the art collection stems from a lack of wall space as a result of the refurbishment, says a spokesman for Unilever.

‘One of the things being considered is a gallery open to the public, but plans are not definite. The concept is evolutionary,’ he adds.

The headquarters will be more open-plan and contemporary to make the atmosphere more conducive to team work. The project is likely to be completed by 2006.

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