Art Gallery by L’Atelier Senzu

Architects bring light and space into a former basement.

LONDON – L’Atelier Senzu, a young Parisian outfit, has just realised its first built project: a refurbishment of a small art gallery in east London. Although the space has only recently opened to public, it has already caught the attention of the BBC, although this had more to do with the unusual aspect of the gallery itself, which allows the public to buy small shares in the exhibited artworks.

‘When one of our founders was still was working at Bjarke Ingels Group in New York, he met the gallery’s CEO who told him about the project of creating a new kind of art gallery in London. We showed him what we were doing and he asked us right away to realize our ideas. The process went very fast,’ says David Dottelonde of L’Atelier Senzu, which up until now took part in over 20 competitions and has a slew of temporary installations under its belt.

Confronted with a stepped ground floor and a dark basement, the architects sacrificed a few square metres along the building’s party wall to fill the dark it with light, whilst creating a double height space that does justice to larger-scale canvases. Meanwhile, the metal mesh cladding is used to soften the low and visually hard ceiling.

‘All of us at the firm have experiences working in different countries, ranging from the United States, Brazil, Korea, Israel and United Kingdom, which exposed us to different approaches. Our greatest strength is to gather different skills and make them complementary to one another,’ Dottelonde explains.


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