When I took over the space in central London it hadn’t really been updated for several years and was very tired. The landlord had been running his office from part of the building, as well as various other businesses downstairs. We had to redo everything from scratch, which was no mean feat as it was a very large space.
You entered at street level and there was a back store room on the main gallery level, with a staircase going down to the lower levels. To the right at the bottom of the stairs was a small room that possibly housed a kitchen at some point (or at least the old pipework suggested this). In what was to become the main lower gallery, there were double doors leading out onto a small courtyard (full of junk). To the left of these doors was another doorway leading to a similar sized space that was under the hairdressers next door. This lead to a kitchen and double toilets, with a small store room. At the back of the lower gallery were two storage spaces situated under the pavement/road (which leaked and had to be tanked). The whole place was damp, dingy and unloved.
One of the businesses run from this lower space at some point had been a tech company and there was cable trunking everywhere. When we started to strip everything out we found literally thousands of metres of old cables of every possible size and kind! There was so much of it that the cable alone half filled a skip!
We took everything back to the bare shell and decorated throughout. We laid new laminate flooring in the whole space (yes, all three levels!), which took Jonathan and myself over a week of solid 10 hour days, so this gives you some idea of the scale of the project!
We introduced new skirting, opened up the staircase and installed pavement lights in the main lower gallery to allow as much natural light in as possible. We fitted new gallery track lighting throughout (very expensive). The courtyard was cleared of rubbish and a new fence erected between us and the shop next door. The walls were painted and it was finished off with gravel to create a sculpture garden.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photo’s of the work in progress at the gallery as these were all on an old PC that has long since been confinded to the great computer graveyard in the sky, but here are a few of the space once it was finished.