Universal Works x CDY

Studio MUTT, London, 2018


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A retail project in north London.

Universal Works’ store at Coal Drops Yard is the second in the Universal Works and Studio MUTT creative relationship, following the Soho store at 26 Berwick Street. The architecture aims to retain and exaggerate the character of the existing building, revitalised by Argent and Heatherwick Studio.

The project consists of a series of large sculptural insertions: a theatrical full-height mirrored wall set at 45 degrees to the space, green metal hanging and shelving units clamped to cast-iron beams, monumental red cedar blocks and long linear light fittings.

A bold and honest material approach was chosen to compliment the original interior: everyday, commercial materials, such as Unistrut channels and Kingspan aluminium raised access floor systems, have been used as distinctive finished surfaces.

The stand-out feature of the store is a 4 metre tall mirrored wall set at 45 degrees that both separates front and back of house, and adds a creative illusion of volume and depth to the space. This is animated through three pivot doors, the main one being on a central pivot and able to rotate through 360 degrees, adding a sense of theatre to the banality of back of house storage.

The reverse of the wall is lined in green-stained oak, which also continues to envelope the changing rooms and adds warmth and texture to these intimate areas.


  • Begun: Aug 2018
  • Completed: Oct 2018
  • Floor area: 75m2
  • Sector: Retail
  • Total cost: £125,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jun 2018
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Coal Drops Yard, London, N1C 4DQ, United Kingdom

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