Nomadic pop-up exhibition SQUAT is camping out in London, taking over a Victorian apartment in Mayfair for its first edition in the city.
The concept – which belies its name with its luxury offerings – is the brainchild of Nina Yashar, owner of Milanese design gallery Nilufar. It takes a selling exhibition to the extreme by allowing visitors to buy everything from the furniture and art, right down to the apartment itself.
For the London SQUAT, Yashar has teamed up with interior designer and developer Shalini Misra and gallerist Mehves Ariburnu to create a space where architecture, art and design collide.
‘SQUAT has always been a partnership with real estate people,’ says Yashar, who has already taken the concept to Paris, Beirut and Milan. ‘But this is the first edition that someone could actually live in – where there are bedrooms, bathrooms and all the finishes are perfect. You could move in straight away.’
Yashar drew pieces from Nilufar’s own archive for the pop-up exhibition in Flat 1, 70 South Audley Street. These include a 1960s LB7 bookcase by Franco Albini and chairs by Gio Ponti, alongside contemporary objects by lighting designer Lindsey Adelman and Patricia Urquiola.
‘It’s important for us to show our pieces in a domestic setting rather than a white cube,’ Yashar explains. ‘People can see how the objects work in a home and I can mix contemporary objects with historic pieces in a way that you simply can’t do in a gallery.’
Misra’s role was fleshing out the bones of the 2,355 sq ft apartment – one of her own development projects – which features soaring 3-metre-high ceilings and chevron dark oak flooring throughout. Doors have been heightened to add drama and scale while the kitchen and bathroom are designed bespoke.
The apartment is on show to the public for four months, during which time it will also host a string of events, including dinners and lectures.
SQUAT London runs at Flat 1, 70 South Audley Street in Mayfair until 15 October. The apartment will be marketed by Wetherell and Knight Frank next week
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