Tate Britain in London has appointed Kit Grover to redesign its retail offer, as part of its overarching £25m plan to remodel the art gallery over the next three years.
Kit Grover, which has also created museum shop merchandise for the Tate, won the contract in the autumn, following what it claims was a six-way pitch.
’I think other groups did a lot of visual work, but my pitch was based on function, aspiration, the pitfalls of museum shops and what the Tate is capable of doing with it,’ says founder Kit Glover.
The current retail offer will change ’dramatically’, in line with architect Caruso St John’s plans to create what Grover calls, ’a more rational movement through the building’.
Tate Britain’s Millbank shop, which is currently to the right of the gallery’s main entrance, will move to the left side of the entrance. Multiple access routes to the new store will provide views through the shop to artworks hanging in a gallery at its rear.
The Manton shop, which occupies the lower level of the gallery, near the side entrance on Atterbury Street, will remain in the same space, but eill be ’dramatically reconfigured’, says Grover.
Grover believes that the aim of the redesign is to ’define Tate Britain as cleanly as Tate Modern has been defined’. He adds, ’This is a huge opportunity to move Tate Britain ahead, and we are all very ambitious to achieve something that will dramatically alter the experience.’
He will meet with Uxus, the Netherlands- and US-based group that is redesigning the Tate Modern retail offer and creating the new extension’sstore, to talk about their visions for the shops (www.designweek.co.uk 16 February).
Uxus and Grover both entered the pitches for the Tate Modern and Tate Britain retail contracts. The two shops will close towards the end of this year, to be replaced by a temporary store, and will reopen in mid- to late-2012, says Grover.
Tate declined to comment on the plans.
KIT GROVER’S WORK FOR THE TATE
- Tate Modern launches its new core range of products in May, designed by Kit Grover, including mugs, T-shirts, bags, pencils and jewellery. ’They have to appeal to both the tourist market and the seasoned Londoner,’ says founder Kit Grover
- Grover claims also to be working on ’various artist’s products’, and a range celebrating Tate Modern’s tenth anniversary.
- Over the past ten years, Grover has created more than 70 products for the Tate, mostly for the Bankside gallery