Home Magazine Be flexible or die, the case of Cromwell Place in London 

The historical period we are living has brought down almost every work field and it has upset our everyday routine and mindsets. Specifically, the arts and culture sector has often been accused of being quite traditional and old-fashioned, indeed, it is one of those markets that has been dramatically hit by the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is interesting to notice that there are some realities that permitted the art market to stay alive, such as online marketplace and hybrid auctions and cultural spaces. 

Related articles: Art in the time of corona - Auction Houses Networks - How will art fairs change after this pandemic?

A great example of how the art sector can take advantage of this period of uncertainty and changes is the Londoner project carried out by Cromwell Place

Designed during the second half of 19th century in London, Cromwell Place hosted artists such as Sir John Lavery, and today it has maintained the architectural Victorian style, but its spaces have been transformed to house art galleries, art storages and private workspaces (and for next year a Club Room is scheduled, as well). As in this period several galleries have been forced to close their doors, due to a series of factors that goes from the decreased feasibility to buy art, to the high costs connected to the real estate market, Cromwell Place somehow is the perfect combination for them right now. 


Cromwell Place, venue’s interior details. Courtesy Cromwell Place


Cromwell Place launched the project on October 10th, 2020, a true challenge with the aim of providing services not only for art dealers and collectors, but also for everyone involved in the sector. Cromwell Place wants to give a pay-for-what-you-need solution and to generate a sense of community within some of the world’s most remarkable galleries, collectors, and art businesses, creating an international environment that can help building connections and job collaborations. Among the range of services delivered there are spaces designed for galleries, viewing rooms, climate-controlled art storage, and meeting rooms.

There are no galleries which move-in permanently – and this flexibility has been one of the pillars of their business model, whether galleries, logistics, meeting or viewing rooms rental are took into consideration. 


Art Storage at Cromwell Place. Courtesy Cromwell Place


The purpose has perfectly fit with these times of doubt and uncertainty. Besides being stretchy, the exhibition spaces - available for periods ranging from two to six weeks - are priced from approximately £2,000 up to £20,000 per week, depending on the seasonal attraction. These prices are just a portion of the stable monthly expense around London, specially if considering Cromwell Place strategic position: South Kensington, a central area of the city which not only is one of the fanciest districts of the City, but it is also home to many wealthy and potential art collectors.

Due to the current restrictions, it will physically re-open on 3rd December, exhibiting the international art gallery Lehmann Maupin, who will present the Korean artist Do-Ho Suh.
The exhibition will showcase the range of Suh’s practice - including large and small-scale architectural fabric works, thread drawings, watercolours, and bronze sculpture, and the admissions are free and already available.



Do Ho Suh’s installation showcased at Cromwell Place. Courtesy Cromwell Place 


I leave you with a choice: stay still or rethink your business model? Those are the two options people of the art field have faced since the last 10 months...


Cover image: Courtesy of @Cromwellplace Instagram page

Written by Elena Parcianello

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