This was my first main commercial project and involved refitting the main floor of a piano shop, formerly a showroom, to create a contemporary teaching studio and waiting area. Part of the idea was to raise the profile of the tuition services on offer, but also to create a shopfront which has more human activity and will hopefully attract people to come inside.


I designed and planned a modern teaching room to fit into a thin space at the rear, with floor-to-ceiling slivers of glass blocks and a distinctive curved wall viewable from the street.


The construction process was mixed- the framing and preparation works were fairly straightforward, while other parts like the cutting of a custom curved desk and the bending of plasterboard, were excessively difficult and required a lot of research combined with trial and error, sometimes to frustratingly futile consequences.



However, after a lot of perserverance and a not-too-bad overrun of schedule the refit was complete and the teacher moved in and started teaching. As the space evolved and people began to use the waiting area adjacent, it was decided that the curved wall presented an excellent marketing opportunity- why not use it as a unique billboard to showcase some of the services of the shop? A decal was created specially for this purpose and applied to great effect, really bringing what was a blank wall to life.


Various other small changes were made as it was inhabited and in frequent use- a coffee machine in the waiting area, a video-intercom for the piano teacher... All in all, it has definitely succeeded in the goal of re-invigorating a retail space.


















The Refit...







The planned area for the new teaching room with waiting area adjacent



The shop as it existed beforehand- the sheer amount of pianos make it rather dark and gloomy, and a little scary!



Clearing out in preparation- already so much lighter!



The floor was sanded back to bare wood with a large sander, and finished at the skirting boards with a detail sander.



Getting the frame erected



Reinforcement in the curved section



Linings of the correct dimension were made to accommodate a strip of glass blocks



Bending the plasterboard took several attempts!



Details of the door frame



Hanging the plasterboard; quilted insulation was used in the curved section, and solid insulation in the straight wall.



How it's looking from the outside



Installing the glass blocks into their pre-framed openings



Fitting the curved desk



Finishing touches and painting



The space inside- just waiting for the floor to dry



A decal applied to the outside makes the most of that curve


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