A new gallery shop for Charleston

The client

Our client, The Charleston Trust, is a charity which exists to restore and maintain Charleston – a former farmhouse, that was the Sussex home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant – key members of the infamous Bloomsbury Group of writers and artists.

The brief

We were asked by Charleston to design a shop for its new Centenary Project space, an ambitious renovation which has transformed a network of barns, outbuildings & courtyards into substantial new gallery and exhibition space.

What we delivered

The new retail space was essentially a white box – and a small one at that – with three entrances /exits and a fourth door into a stock room. One of the greatest challenges we had therefore, was ensuring that whatever we designed, it took these multiple visitor journeys into account.

The shop was to be a curated space, primarily selling goods associated with the exhibitions, so we felt it appropriate that the look & feel was suitably minimal, allowing the product to do the talking.

Charleston was keen that the shop fittings ‘spoke’ to the structure, so we designed into the shelving and units some whitewashed wood lipping, matched to the whitewashed wood of the ceiling joists and door frames.

We future-proofed the space by putting all units and ticket desks on castors, allowing them to be moved around or out of the room, should the room ever be needed for an event.

What the client said

“Sherlock immediately grasped the brief and instinctively knew what was appropriate for the space. Applying their vast knowledge of retail design, they created something that maximised flexibility, and, importantly, was cost effective for our budget. Thanks to their creative flare – and their dedication – we now have a beautiful new shop, which was designed and fitted within eight weeks. It’s been a real pleasure working with the team – what an achievement!” Liz Rose, Head of Enterprises, The Charleston Trust

Image credit: Sorcha Bridge Photography

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