Sam Jacob Studio has completed the refurbishment of DKUK gallery in Peckham, London, which functions both as an art gallery and hair salon. The design architecturally articulates the part-cultural/ part-commercial hybrid model of DKUK, where paying clients get their haircut in front of art, seated within an exhibition installation.
The design frames the display of art through the commercial infrastructure that supports the exhibitions. At the same time commercial references such as Slatwall wall display system are repurposed as an abstract, graphic gallery display mechanism.
Sam Jacob said: “Usually the way we look is conceived differently in a gallery or a salon. This design explores the act of looking through the use of frames, translucencies, perforations and reflections. The space also considers how we are seen (or not) just as much as how we see.
“The mirror, often the central device of a hair salon and filled with our own reflection, is used here as a spatial device, multiplying and altering the experience of the space.
“The tiny space – London’s smallest gallery at 2m x 5m – is transformed into a complex viewing device as well as a beautiful space to get your hair cut.” To coincide with DKUK’s re-launch, Sam Jacob Studio has created ‘Make It Real’ an exhibition of recent experiments in architecture and representation. The show explores design’s ambiguous position between imagination and reality through the t-shirts printed as building facades, soil pipes gilded in 24 carat gold, chairs made out of putty and a new sound piece recorded in the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral.