Small Black Room won the job three weeks ago following a three-way pitch. The brief involves relocating the shop away from its position in the entrance area, which the gallery wants to use for promotional activities, such as receptions.
The shop will move to the exit, and will benefit from being given a dedicated room. We want the shop to be really something quite special and to make a bigger deal of it’, says Small Back Room creative director Callum Lumsden.
Gallery director Ian Dejardin adds that the move ’creates a much more logical visitor flow’. The consultancy makes its first presentation to the gallery today.
Lumsden reveals that the interiors concept will include references to the gallery’s architecture in the bespoke fixtures, fittings and furniture that it is creating for the project. Designed by Sir John Soane in 1812, the building includes a mausoleum with four sarcophagi containing the bones of the gallery’s founders.
’We are making witty references to the architecture, which has so many lovely details and icons, and it is such an important building,’ says Lumsden. ’We have to be very sensitive also to the original architecture.’
Small Back Room is also consulting on a new ’high-end’ product offer for the shop, which Lumsden believes will fill a gap in the local retail market. ’At the moment, it is a typical museum shop, but the new products will include jewellery and original prints.
There is not that much in terms of art-related shopping in this part of London, so this store should fit in well with Dulwich’s growing standing as a destination shopping village,’ he says. Lumsden says that the gallery is ’very close to my heart’ because he used to live in Dulwich and knows the gallery ’extremely well’.
He describes the project as ’fast track’, with the shop due to open in September.