Tate Modern’s new shop is housed at the base of the gallery’s distinctive pyramid extension designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The store is conceived by UXUS as occupying the crossroads of culture and commerce, and invites visitors to explore the world of art through the museum’s retail expression. Part shopping destination, part cultural hangout, it is designed as a ‘permanently temporary’ space with the flexibility to respond to the gallery’s fast-changing exhibition and project schedule.
A bespoke system of stackable furniture modules allows for regular reconfiguration to keep the displays fresh and exciting for visitors, as well as accommodating seating for browsing and events such as book readings and talks.
“Tate is a pioneering global institution that leads the way in the arts and now is breaking new ground with a retail experience at the crossroads of culture and commerce. We have always greatly admired Tate for its visionary approach, and it has been an enormous honor to be part of the team that is making that vision a reality.” George Gottl and Oliver Michell, the founders of UXUS, explain. ”We hope it will serve as a shopping destination for locals as well as the gallery’s millions of visitors and will become the first choice in London for art and cultural products.”
Generous picture windows ensure high visibility into the store from both the gallery and the street. Retail displays are divided into three zones – generalist, specialist and children. In the kids’ area, brightly coloured cubbyholes are incorporated into the bookshelves so that children can look at books and toys that have caught their imagination. These different product zones are reinforced by the material palette, which uses different accents of wood within the display modules to help shoppers intuitively navigate the various areas. These accents are used in combination with a concrete floor and powder-coated steel fixings.
UXUS began collaborating with Tate Modern in 2010 and completed a highly successful pop-up shop for the museum’s Damien Hirst exhibition in 2012. This served as a prototype for the new, more ambitious store in the Tate Modern extension. The hope is that the new retail outlet will enable the gallery to generate more of its own funding through increased store revenue. UXUS’s previous museum clients include the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk, and The Eye Film Museum, all in The Netherlands.
Photography by Ed Reeve