Universal Design Studio developed the Poltrona Frau showroom, which occupies two floors of an ex-industrial Grade II listed building in London’s Clerkenwell.
The main objective was to produce a calm and modest environment to display their furniture within, whilst retaining the rough fabric of the existing industrial shell.
In order to open up the basement and make it a usable space a wide and dramatic staircase was designed. The staircase not only creates a strong spatial connection between the two floors, but also becomes a large sculptural feature in itself, rather than simply an architectural component. Although the steps of the staircase are solid oak timbers and rest upon the steel structure in stacks, an illusion of weightlessness was achieved through a matt black finish and invisible connection details.
The showroom’s built-in flexibility allows it to play host to exhibitions, design events and day-to-day showroom activities seamlessly within the same space.