Turner Contemporary shop gets minimalist revamp

Spending is distinctly soothing at Turner Contemporary shop in Margate, with its elegant, minimalist new look by London studio Daytrip

Interior view at the Turner Contemporary shop featuring white walls, windows, light grey flooring, white and grey shelving units with various items on display, grey tables and drawers, a neon sign of a book, framed wall art and rectangular ceiling lights
(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)

The Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the country's leading cultural destinations outside London, and now there's one more reason to visit the David Chipperfield Architects-designed, world-renowned centre for art – the launch of a brand-new minimalist shop interior, courtesy of London-based studio Daytrip. The retail architecture project marks ten years after the Margate seafront art hub's grand opening.

Invited by cultural consultancy The Seeking State, the design studio devised careful plans to refresh the Turner Contemporary's shop area, which sits right by the main entrance and next to the gallery spaces. Daytrip drew inspiration from Chipperfield's majestic, pared-down architectural approach, as well as the wider context. 

‘It was felt that the new renovation should not only relate to the architecture but should reflect JW Turner’s admiration for Margate, and the surrounding landscape and light qualities, as well as speak to the community and enhance a local narrative that is rich with creativity,' say Daytrip founders Iwan Halstead and Emily Potter.

Alternative interior view at the Turner Contemporary shop featuring white walls, light grey flooring, white and grey shelving units and tables with single drawer units underneath, rectangular ceiling lights and windows offering a view of the sky and sea. There is an illustration of a person on the wall by the windows

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)

The building's poetic minimalism is reflected in the shop's interior concept. A neutral colour palette and sleek, unfussy materials make up the internal envelope, while the large openings, with long views of the sea, remain a key protagonist in the space. The existing poured screed flooring, linear glazing and prominent ribbed concrete ceiling were taken as cues for the interior's new composition, internal arrangement and overall rhythm. 

A series of bespoke display tables, shelving and plinths are moveable around the space to provide flexibility. The uncluttered look feels calm and even ethereal, using soft, dappled grey veneer panels, metal frameworks in brushed stainless steel and rippled textured glass. A specially designed workbench that nods to a maker's workshop sits at the space’s heart – though everything can be rearranged as needs dictate. 

More humble materials in muted tones, including matt, white oiled oak (‘chosen for its sandy tonality and honest craftsmanship', explain the designers), grey Valchromat, and a lacquered wood fibre board set the mood that was conceived to celebrate Turner Contemporary's architecture and the seaside setting's colour and tones.

Alternative interior view at the Turner Contemporary shop featuring grey and white walls, light grey flooring, white and grey shelving units and drawers and glass display cases. There are some products on display and framed art on the wall

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)

Close up view of a shelving unit with a frosted back and three items on display at the Turner Contemporary shop. Behind the shelving unit are white and grey tables with items on top in a space with white walls and light grey flooring

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)

Close up view of a metal shelving unit against a patterned wall at the Turner Contemporary shop. There is an orange bowl and two amber coloured pieces on display

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)

Close up view of grey bespoke display cases and a white shelving unit at the Turner Contemporary shop. There are various items on display and framed blue and white art hanging on a grey wall

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)



Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

With contributions from