“The Showroom had been based in the East End of London for over 20 years, and during that time produced numerous important commissions by now well-recognized artists, such as Mona Hatoum, Simon Starling, Jim Lambie, Eva Rothschild and Daria Martin, each of whom responded to its characterful triangular-shaped space. In recent years the space had become increasingly limiting for the organisation’s development, thus plans to move were initiated, and the opportunity arose for us to move to the Church Street Neighbourhood, off Edgware Road, NW8.
The Showroom’s new building is a former warehouse space, which has been renovated by the architects ifau + Jesko Fezer, Berlin (who have reconfigured a number of European art institutions, including Grazer Kunstverein, Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart, and Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht) in collaboration with Working Architecture Group, London. Its two floors allow us to expand the programme to incorporate an exhibition space on the ground floor and a more flexible space for events on the upper floor, which will be used for talks, seminars, workshops and a new programme of collaborative projects targeted towards working within our neighbourhood.
Situated in Westminster, the Church Street area is one of the poorest wards in the UK. A number of local initiatives are keen to change this, including the micro-regeneration initiative, Church Street Neighbourhood Centre, and architects Farrells, who have produced a detailed regeneration strategy for the area. Both actively supported The Showroom’s move to the area, in particular Sir Terry Farrell, the former occupant of the Showroom’s new space, who enabled our move. This active local network gives us numerous inroads into a complex neighbourhood that is home to very diverse communities, particularly Middle Eastern and Bangladeshi, thus we are looking forward to finding out what potential relationships can be built here.”The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London opens with The Otolith Group—A Long Time Between Suns Part II, on 8 September