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Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

The undisputed hub of global design – and all under one roof

It has been a momentous year for Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour with the creation of the Design Avenue, a breathtaking 10,000 sq/ft lateral space, four storeys high. Unifying the famous domes with Design Centre East, strategic investment will present a new, dramatic sense of arrival to the world’s premier design destination.

 

As ever, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is evolving and flourishing, championing its design community with its confident vision and upholding its reputation as a hub for creative excellence and connection. All 120 showrooms have been selected for their impeccable quality and style. The curation is carefully thought through to ensure the right mix as the ultimate one-stop shop. Indeed, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour now boasts over 600 international brands and is the undisputed destination of choice for A-list designers, architects and design-lovers from around the world. Always ahead of the curve, current expansion plans are not just about meeting high demand for space from current showrooms and new arrivals. They represent an ambition to increase the breadth of what is on offer.

 

Where else can you find such a remarkable concentration of the world’s biggest design names all under one roof? More ateliers and studios are opening in Design Centre East, as well as Design Centre North, where a new offering is adding to the powerful mix. Now the Design Avenue will attract even more highly influential brands and new international audiences, and cross fertilise with other luxury areas like art, fashion and antiques.

A rolling programme of curated exhibitions, showcasing pop-ups, luxury product launches and inspiring installations will enhance the already well-established events programme, all constantly creating new reasons to visit

Design Centre

Discerning, design-savvy customers who visit Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour have a passion for curating their own projects. Confident in their design choices, they may need some friendly advice on narrowing down the options. Whether they are seeking outdoor furniture, a bath, wall coverings or lighting, the Personal Shopping Service can help them navigate the showrooms, facilitate their requests and even organise international shipping. Equally, for busy design professionals, there is a Designer Sourcing Service. Bespoke products are another forte in the showrooms. Many have long-term relationships with designers and the collaborative nature of this sort of work allows for an extra level of connection for a highly engaged clientele.

 

The showrooms are just the starting point. There are cafés, a specialist bookshop and a private members’ Design Club, designed by Rabih Hage. The Club offers a stylish sanctuary in which to relax, host meetings or even act as a second office in the city.

 

The real secret of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is that it never stops looking ahead and keeping abreast of the zeitgeist. It constantly curates multi-layered experiences, whether it is a small gathering for a private bank, an Asian art fair or an Easter party for designers. Many events like London Design Week in March have become inked-in dates on the international design calendar, while newer initiatives have led to specialist annual events like the Superyacht Design Forum. There are talks, workshops, artisan demonstrations, meet-the-designer sessions and the acclaimed Conversations in Design programme with its stellar line-up of international speakers. Sharing ideas and generating a deeper understanding of design are at the heart of them all. The popularity of these immersive sessions has accounted for huge growth. At Focus/19, for example, there were 130 events over six days. All underlined the importance of integrity, provenance, exquisite craftsmanship and a move towards informed choices.

 

Twice a month, visitors can go on a free, curated design discovery tour that offers an hour-long snapshot of the latest trends and new arrivals. People emerge delighted and astonished, saying, ‘who knew?’ It is a chance to meet the experts and specialists and get behind the scenes. Offering a truly dynamic collective unseen anywhere else, experiences will take on an even more energetic lease of life with the Design Avenue. There will be a rolling programme of curated exhibitions, showcasing pop- up exhibitors, luxury product launches and inspiring installations that will enhance the already well-established events programme, and all constantly creating new reasons to visit.

Though so many of the brands are international, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has all the authority, heritage and respectability of a British location in the heart of Chelsea. ‘London is the capital of cool, with a diversity of heritage that will never disappear,’ says managing director, Claire German. ‘There’s nothing else like this in Europe or America with such a sense of community combined with our commitment to creativity.’

London is a well-respected nerve centre of craftsmanship and Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is an influential force shaping the British craft canon today. It sponsors an apprenticeship at the Guild of Furniture Makers and every other year holds an exhibition of one-off pieces of furniture by some of Britain’s most distinguished craftspeople, ranging from John Makepeace and Thomas Heatherwick to emerging young designers. Recognising the value of handcrafted objects that come into existence through time-honoured skills and steadfast dedication, it provides artisans with opportunities for real engagement with consumers.

Looking forward to 2020, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has much to be upbeat about. It considers itself to be living in exciting times of expansion, positivity and progression and now the Design Avenue will enable it to continue excelling at experiential events where visitors can connect with decision makers and world-class creatives, and engage with experts in their fields. ‘People increasingly want to turn up, learn and meet people rather than just come and see things,’ says Claire. ‘They want to delve deeper and deeper into how things are made and we’re making that easy, interesting and fun. Quite simply, there’s nowhere else like our Design Centre anywhere in the world. Why wouldn’t we be optimistic?’

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