Camden revamp for Proud Galleries and Stables Market

The Proud Galleries, based in Camden Town’s Stables Market in north London, is poised to reopen next month, following a redesign by Russell Sage Studios and Proud creative director and Sunday Times style columnist Danielle Proud.

The £750 000 development (pictured) will see the existing gallery space doubled to include a bar, two music rooms, a private terrace and individual converted ‘stables’ occupying 10 000m2 of space within the 200-year-old, Grade II-listed Horse Hospital building.

The development is part of a wider reconfiguration of the historic Stables Markets, which started last summer.

Camden Council outlined designs in its planning application for two new four-storey buildings which will house shops, food stores, offices, workshops and storage facilities. Other plans include the creation of a pedestrian route through the rear of the market, exposing 25 of the existing railway arches. The walkways – in the style of the existing historic ramp and bridge system – will attempt to open up the site, making it more accessible to visitors.

Proud Galleries’ main exhibition space, which will double as a live music room at night, will play host to photography exhibitions, bands, DJs and artists. The area will cover a space more than five times the size of the old music room.

Proud says the interior scheme for the space will take its cues from the heritage of the original Horse Hospital building, with key features including lighting and signage.

‘We’re looking at a vintage circus theme, with horse and animal taxidermy shapes. With such a massive space I think you have to focus more on lighting than individual decoration,’ adds Proud.

Sage explains that one of the key challenges of the project so far has been to create an interior scheme of ‘considerable quality’ that can ‘rest’ within the existing framework of the listed building. ‘We haven’t been allowed, for example, to put anything into the beams. It has to rest within the space, and [to be] easily taken out if needs be,’ he says.

‘I suppose the interesting thing about this building is that it has come from being something else. When it was taken over from the antiques people, they felt it shouldn’t be developed in the way it has, but it wasn’t always an antiques market, it was originally built as a horse hospital. The main thing has been to keep the spirit of the building and that has involved a certain amount of restoration work,’ adds Sage.

Market forces

• The Stables Market was built in the former Midland Railway stables and Horse Hospital building. It was untouched by the fire in Camden Market last month
• Camden Market Holdings took over the Stables site at Stanley Sidings in the 1980s
• The market housed a mix of permanent and temporary, indoor and outdoor stalls and shops set into arches in railway viaducts until last summer
• Redevelopment on the back of Stables Market began last summer
• Proud Galleries started out as a privately funded photographer’s space, Proud Central, in Buckingham Street, London WC2. A second space opened at Camden in 2000
• It will now host band and club nights, as well as exhibitions
• For further details, see www.atproud.net

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