Sector: Conservation, Interiors, Retail
Project stage: Complete
Gibberd were appointed by Timothy Oulton Studio to assist in gaining listed building consent and planning permission for their new flagship gallery space within the Bluebird, situated on Kings Road, London.
The Bluebird is a Grade II listed building which is set within the Chelsea Park Carlyle Conservation Area within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London.
The Bluebird Motor Garage was built in 1923 for the Bluebird Motor Company and was designed by the architect Robert Sharp. The building was constructed as a reinforced concrete and steel frame construction, with pitched slate roof and is a celebrated example of Art Deco design. The original garage area was set back between the two residential blocks affording a central forecourt area. The forecourt area is enclosed by faience walls and gatepiers which carry the moudings of faience bluebird motifs.
At the time of its completion the garages were claimed to be the largest in Europe, the main garage and workshops occupied the central area with the forecourt in front which was flanked on either side by two further buildings which contained lounges and writing rooms. The lounges were segregated for ladies, owners and chauffeurs, with the chauffeur’s lounge being positioned to the east of the site.
In 1997 the building was converted into the “Bluebird Gastrodrome”, including a restaurant, bar, café and private dining rooms, these works included major refurbishment of the building, following the refurbishment the garage area was occupied by the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain as an experimental “concept” shop. Sainsbury’s withdrew from the space, which made way for “The Shop at Bluebird”, a high-end clothes, furniture and book shop.
The Timothy Oulton Flagship Gallery occupies much of the ground floor retail area. The scheme is sensitive to the inherent industrial nature of the building, expressing the exposed structure and services and celebrating an honesty in materials and construction.