Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Project: New exhibition and live/work space for a roster of three designers-in-residence in Imperial Wharf, Chelsea. The Carpenters Workshop Gallery was established in 2005 by Parisian duo Loic Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail. It is known for its discovery of bold and iconic design-art.


The gallery is inspired by Pinball – a trajectory of discovery in which the visitor winds their way through the artists and their exhibited works. The artists live and work in pods shaped as smoothed triangles, the tapering forms providing a dynamic flow to the interposed gallery spaces where exhibitions of the artist’s works are staged.


With an alluring halo of light at its end, a ramped tunnel launches the visitor to the far end of the gallery, raising them to a vantage point where they begin their gradual descent back through the galleries. As they weave their way they see the works and also view the artists, who are seen from above without being disturbed.


Glazed openings in the walls of the galleries allow views into the artists’ studios on the other side. Visitors bend or sit on a bench to get a good view, performative interactions that add variety to their journey. The studio walls are giant whiteboards acting as living sketchbooks.

Donelle Woolford

Each pod has a private upper level where the artist will sleep. The walls are lined in white linen. The palette of colours and materials soothes and refreshes.


Tired of being a goldfish in a bowl all day, the artists can turn the tables on their visitors. From the a private social area, they can survey the unsupecting visitors via a large two-way mirror. The artists’ hide-out is darker and warmly decorated, a retreat from the neutral and functional gallery space.