Jonathan Tuckey transforms London mews house into private art gallery
Jonathan Tuckey Design has transformed a mews house in London’s Paddington into a striking, private art space with a spiralling vertical gallery that nods to the Pantheon
This radical reworking of the traditional London mews house transforms the interior into a spiralling vertical gallery. Created by Jonathan Tuckey Design, the ‘Paddington Pantheon’ is tightly nestled into its urban context. These low-lying back streets originally provided service spaces to the adjacent terraced mansions but have gradually risen up through the residential rankings to become prime spots in their own right.
This particular house is owned by the artists Rob and Nick Carter, a couple whose shared artistic journey takes in photography, sculpture, installation and carefully manipulated animations. The brief was to provide private exhibition spaces and open up the interior, adding plenty of flexibility for curating as well as living. Tuckey draws a parallel between earlier, historical ‘houses for artists,’ especially in the ways in which life and work become intertwined in a physical space.
The Paddington project places a greater emphasis on display, rather than practice, and Tuckey references the early wunderkammer, or cabinet or chamber of curiosity created by aesthetes and intellectuals from the seventeenth century onwards. Comprising of an eclectic mix of art, anthropological specimens, and historical ephemera, the wunkerkammer concept remains an intriguing symbol of diverse interests and approaches.
The Carters’ project also makes a nod to the Greco-Roman forerunner of the modern picture gallery, the Pinacotheca, as well as the mighty Pantheon in Rome, with its dome punctured by a single circular oculus. As the project’s name suggests, a skylight is also a key focus, and the angles and facets of the original roof have been subsumed by meticulously rendered angled white walls that are topped by a vast piece of angled frameless glass.
From the start of the process, the ambition was to create a building that was best suited to view Rob and Nick Carter’s work, with backlit and screen-based works on display on the lower levels and photographic prints on the upper level. A staircase winds up the newly created double height space, emphasising the scale.
While the structural interventions are dramatic, the material palette is low key, with existing wooden and stone floors retained and simple white painted walls used throughout. Appearing modest and unassuming from the cobbled mews, this contemporary cabinet of wonders must be opened to be experienced. §