Inside the vault: The Koppel Project features Phaidon’s first London store
When British artist, curator and writer Gabriella Sonabend, Peruvian curator and writer Hannah Thorne and backer and creator Gabriel Gherscovic thought up The Koppel Project, it seems they had but one goal in mind: to tell a story. So when the London-based hub opened on 15 March – complete with a contemporary art gallery, project area, cafe and Phaidon bookshop – one could only imagine just how many stories there would be.
The Koppel Project spans three floors, each created with their own individual purpose, but aesthetically tied. In the basement, a recently decommissioned bank vault, is a contemporary art space displaying the work of local and international artists of all ages. The underground heart of The Koppel Project, the founders hope that the gallery will promote collaboration, spark ambitious projects and encourage intercultural exchange.
Phaidon joins the creative throng as well, with their first London pop-up store. On the ground floor, the publishing house brings an offering of art and design, cookery and children’s books to accompany the art, plus a selection of Wallpaper* City Guides. There is a cafe and event space, too, where monthly exhibition openings, performances and artists’ talks will take place.
Finally, on the first floor is an education centre with desks for rent and workshop space. The Koppel Project is working with the charity Aid for All to provide retail and digital apprenticeships, matching employers with learners. Here, there is space for artists and their mentors to grow.
Just as remarkable as the featured work is The Koppel Project’s interior space, created by Danish designer Bjorn Hughes. The douglas fir flooring comes from Pur Natur, a sustainable manufactory located in the Black Forest in Germany. Lighting designed by Atrium and chairs by Philippe Starck for Kartell complete the simplistic, thoughtfully-curated space.
With such a rich selection of art, food and books all under one roof, it would seem that storytelling, one of the oldest forms of art in itself, is alive and well in London.