People, Places, Things
Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design
is a collaborative practice that makes
buildings, places, strategies and objects.

+44 207 251 6735
[email protected]

DKUK, Gallery & Salon, London

DKUK is a new model for producing art work that combines the practical, commercial framework of a hairdressing business with the funding support of the Arts Council England: A space that is both art gallery and hair salon.

DKUK offers artists a unique environment for showing and developing work, away from the pressure of the commercial art world and the growing complexities of the ‘publicly’ funded spaces.

SJS’s design for DKUK’s new space in Peckham articulates this part-commercial / part-cultural hybrid model architecturally.

The design frames the display of art through the commercial infrastructure that supports and enables the ‘culture’. At the same time commercial references such as Slatwall wall display system are repurposed as an abstract, graphic gallery display mechanism.

Usually the way we look is conceived differently in a gallery or a salon. The 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 feature 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. More on DKUK here.

Photos © Jim Stephenson