Located in the heart of Clerkenwell, the project evokes industrial forms and materiality (Coalbrook’s name comes from Coalbrookdale in the Midlands, the site of the world’s first iron bridge and cradle of the Industrial Revolution) and blurs the boundary between historicism, decoration and digital process.
Holloway Li collaborated with a host of master craftspeople including Bard & Brazier, PHOS, Steel and Form, and FSE Foundry, to shun the traditional expectations of a showroom; instead creating a space designed around a series of industrial ‘casts’ that are used to display working products.
Whilst the ground floor is designed to appear like a landscape of industrial chimneys, with casts of Victorian bathroom wall panels in piercing orange and amber resin, the basement imbues the atmosphere of a subterranean engine room, featuring two oversized industrial ‘boilers’ and wall panels moulded from cast iron.
With boldness and innovation at its heart, Coalbrook provides stylish and functional solutions to bathroom essentials. As founders and owners Giuseppe and Pietro Corbisiero comment: “Holloway Li interpreted our brief from a unique angle, tracing Coalbrook’s brand narrative back to Britain’s industrial heartland. In doing so, they have reimagined the showroom typology from the ground-up, creating a memorable space to experience the story of our brands beyond the possibilities offered by online channels.”
An inspired showroom that eschews convention in favour of innovation and visual storytelling, The Market Building, Clerkenwell, is a remarkable project with swagger and soul.