ME Margaret Howell
The Great Escape: An Authentic Japanese Hospitality Experience
This project develops one of the east set of railway arches at Valentia Place, Brixton into an atelier studio where the British fashion designer Margaret Howell could create garments for an exclusive new bespoke product range: ‘ME Margaret Howell’. The interior design scheme has been developed to acknowledge the qualities and influences relating to Margaret Howell’s work. As such the proposal aspires to create a quality interior that is utilitarian, subtle, elegant and timeless and captures the designers interest in craftsmanship, modernism and ‘Britishness’. An industrial sized timber door slides across the corten steel façade to reveal a single volume interior where Isokon’s iconic ‘Penguin Donkey’ bookcase is the inspiration for the main spatial move as a new cross-laminated timber mezzanine has been installed within the arch like a gigantic piece of timber furniture. By placing this object in the centre of the space the zones to each side can be used to display an eclectic collection of inspirational images and objects as well as pieces from the clothing collection. A client consultation space (with fitting room) occupies a more intimate space under the mezzanine whilst, to the rear, the staff kitchen and rest space opens out onto an informal wild garden. A subtle staircase (integrated into the structure of the mezzanine) takes staff up to the workspace at first floor level where workers can enjoy the quality of the brick arch above.
The materials used and the quality of detailing are deliberately subtle and understated; timber, felt, plywood pegboard and corten steel are complimented by a carefully curated selection of furniture and products including Vitsoe shelving and furniture by Jean Prouve and Charles and Ray Eames.