The buildings were constructed in 1690, converted into luxury shops in 1750 by Huguenot silk merchants, modernised in 1827 and in more recent times badly damaged by fire. Now, with supreme intelligence, subtle intervention and artful invention, they have taken on a new life as a gallery for contemporary art.
Wandering through the gallery spaces and connecting stairs the visitor is aware of the ghosts of previous narratives. The reticent interiors, painted throughout in nearly white, are occasionally marked by bespoke raw sand-cast bronze details, such as a handrail or door knob.
Two new top-lit spaces for art extend to the rear where the new ground floor facade to the lane is clad in cast iron taken from burnt timber recalling the fire.