Exercise in simplicity: Deirdre Dyson’s handmade products get a new home
Known for exquisite handmade rug and carpet designs fashioned from hand-knotted wool and silk, the success of Deirdre Dyson’s original showroom on the King’s Road in London meant an upgrade was needed to increase space for the designer’s abstract, eye-catching creations; one that also paid tribute to their elevated status as pieces of art in their own right.
Located in Chelsea’s Design Quarter, the redesign of the corner building was tasked to West London-based Timothy Hatton Architects, who understood the building’s potential and set about planning a dramatic transformation of both the interior and exterior. ’Our intention was to create an architecture for the gallery that was intriguing, enticing and inviting, while at the same time delivering spaces that allow calm contemplation of the works of art on display,’ explains Hatton.
What began as a cluttered three-storey space was transformed into a calm four-level showroom, complete with a remarkable cantilevered staircase flowing through the building and inviting buyers to ascend to a roof top terrace with views across Chelsea. Designed by Hatton, the sculptural staircase was brought to life by noted New York metalworker William Nitzberg, who fabricated and hand-finished the centerpiece from patinated, burnished steel.
Though the spatial proportions of the building were of major concern, lighting was an equally important consideration. Together with Sally Storey of Lighting Design International, this was addressed with a new skylight that allows daylight to filter through the building – so much so that even a new basement studio benefits from the surplus of light – while a back wall extension made of glass bricks allows more natural light into the gallery.
The minimal feel and clean lines of the gallery have been brought further into focus by a cool, neutral palette of soft grey walls and floors of honed Catalonian limestone, allowing Dyson’s tactile canvases to shine as she intended.