holloway li designs showroom and co-working space for coalbrook
design duo holloway li unveils an experience-led showroom and co-working space in clerkenwell, london, for bathroom brand coalbrook. through the carefully conceived color and materiality palette, the project evokes images of industrial life: the chimneys which towered over the skylines of cities, the searing heat of the furnaces and engine rooms, and rough chiselled quarries. the designers worked closely with a network of master craftspeople in order to translate these industrial backdrops, into an efficient internal landscape with a unique character and surreal aesthetics.
all images courtesy of nicholas worley
a memorable space that engages with the brand narrative
responding to coalbrook’s design identity, holloway li (find more here) researched the history of industrial forms and processes, creating a fresh language to engage with the brand narrative. the space is designed around a series of industrial ‘casts’, used to display working products. the ground floor is designed to appear like a landscape of industrial chimneys, with ghostly casts of victorian bathroom wall panels in piercing orange and amber resin.
meanwhile, the basement takes shape as a dark, watery space with the atmosphere of a subterranean engine room, occupied by two oversized industrial ‘boilers’ and wall panels moulded from cast iron. ‘holloway li interpreted our brief from a unique angle, tracing coalbrook’s brand narrative back to britain’s industrial heartland. in doing so, they have reimagined the showroom typology from the ground-up, creating a memorable space to experience the story of our brands beyond the possibilities offered by online channels.’ shares coalbrook (find more here).
a series of close collaborations
the highly specialized elements in the showroom were brought to life through a series of close collaborations between the designers and a network of master craftspeople. the london-based design duo worked with bard & brazier to design display units fabricated from brass tubing, and with bard & blackwood on bespoke joinery. the resin casts resulted from a collaboration with a company that typically makes moulded interiors for london buses. holloway li modelled the traditional form of a victorian bathroom digitally, which was then cast in amber and red resin. ‘the traditional form of the cast (with decorative cornice and moulding detailing, cast tiles and a sash window) is subverted by the materiality of the resin, which appears almost liquid. the resin ‘dematerialises’ the form of the cast, at points appearing crystalline, ethereal or fluid depending on the viewer’s position and angle of light.’ the designers share.
in the basement, a collaboration with a foundry in essex led to a set of cast-iron panels that act as the backdrop for the coalbrook shower displays. the ‘chimneys’ and ‘boilers’ in the gallery spaces were fabricated by an emerging metalwork studio based in south london, following research into traditional connection details and surface finishes. each item was modelled digitally and separated into a kit-of-parts which could be laser cut for assembly. a collaboration with a stonemason near stamford brought to life a post-tensioned solid stone staircase with a rough quarried edge. cut off-site from a single block of limestone and then chiselled on-site, the edge profile becomes rougher as it approaches basement floor, as if hewn from the ground itself. ‘we explored forms and atmospheres which have a place in our collective cultural memory, whether as a result of live encounters or through references we have seen on film and television. these industrial forms are markers of a bygone era, and their power derives from their ability to conjure lost processes.’ holloway li notes.
name: the market building
interior design: holloway li
design team: alex holloway, praveen paranagamage, emily mak, stefanie tao
project manager: constructive management
contractor: SLD build west limited
FF&E: menu space
structural engineer: lucking and clark
MEP engineer: david webb associates
staircase structural engineer: webb yates
location: 72-82 rosebery avenue, london
bespoke brassware: bard & brazier
bespoke joinery: bard & blackwood
bespoke cast iron: FSE foundry
cast resin panels: polkima moulded composites
bespoke metalwork: steel and form
stone staircase: the stonemasonry company
myrto katsikopoulou I designboom
jan 11, 2022