Stuart Shave Modern Art

Giles Reid Architects, London, 2020



Photography by Ståle Eriksen     Download Original

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A new contemporary art space for Stuart Shave Modern Art in Bury Street, St James, Mayfair

We have worked to give the building a straight-forward relaxed character, where the relationship between a building and its context is self-evident and grounded in history – in this case, a street where galleries have been trading since the 18th century. We like interiors which are spare, where the construction is quietly expressed and the hand of the architect recedes.

The focus of each room is on natural lighting and the traditional elements through which that light enters the room – windows and doors. The main timber façade has been restored and painted black. The ground floor gallery is a single room, naturally lit from the front, with a new stair at the rear. This descends to a second smaller gallery defined by square dimensions. A glazed door leads to a staff office, also used for private viewing.

Here a new timber façade looks onto a light-well below the street. The process of restoring this light-well uncovered glazed brick slips, previously hidden behind decades of paint. All three rooms are unified by minimal floor detailing and track lighting. These are offset by traditional timber and glass door details and a reclaimed oak parquet floor.

Solid walnut furniture is from the studio of American woodworker George Nakashima (1905-1990). Other freestanding furniture is by Le Corbusier, Jean Prouve and Hilton Marlton.

The gallery opened August 2020 with an exhibition of work by Austrian painter Martha Jungwirth. Future exhibitions are planned with Richard Tuttle and Sanya Kantarovsky.

“I like the unlaboured thing, that looks as inevitable as something that comes out of a frying pan just right, like an omelette in France, for instance.” William Wilson Wurster

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: 75gCO2eq/kWh (est.)


  • Begun: Nov 2019
  • Completed: Jul 2020
  • Floor area: 140m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £295,000
  • Funding: Negotiated
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works with CDP
  • Address: 7 Bury St, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6AL, United Kingdom

Professional Team


  • Lighting (track lights): ERCO
  • Reclaimed parquet: Lascos