Working with artisan pottery Arran Street East, our brief was to renovate and fit out the ground floor and basement of a 19th century Dutch Billy corner building in Dublin’s Markets Area, which had previously been in use as a fruit and vegetable wholesalers.
Working closely with the creative director, we were asked to create a new space where potential customers could experience and purchase the products, as well as creating a space for a pottery studio where all of the hand-making production processes would be housed.
An early concept which became the touchstone for the project was the idea of an ‘open studio’ where visitors could connect with the making process – a unique opportunity to experience a traditional craft taking place in an urban setting.
Reflecting the simplicity of the Arran Street East aesthetic, the palette of materials introduced is restrained and muted, reinterpreting the materials within the urban context for use in a contemporary space.
The retail space occupies the front of the ground floor, with black steel framed glazed screens filling the openings to the south and east. These screens are formed 30mm steel sections, hand-crafted and designed to be as thin as structurally possible to maximise views both in and out of the space. This language of glass and steel was pulled through to the interior and used to separate the retail and production space whilst allowing light and views into the working studio.
Golden sycamore was introduced on surfaces to complement the glass and steel. The power-floated concrete floor runs throughout, providing continuity between spaces, and, with the galvanised steel pipes used for ducting, quietly nods to the industrial aesthetic of the area and its history. The production space was designed around the movement of the pot, from delivery of the clay right up to the point of sale for customers, creating a making, teaching, and retail space that went on to win Fit Out Project of the Year – Retail and the Fit Out Project of the Year Grand Prix at the Fit Out Awards in 2016.