The Danish design brand Mater has experienced some serious growing pains over the last few years. To satisfy its expanding international customer base, the company plans to open a line of showrooms outside Denmark, and has made a start in London.
Bright tile floors, brass skirting boards and low-key lighting. The room might be small, but the atmosphere at the new Mater Earth Gallery in Clerkenwell, London spreads beyond its outer walls. For the first time, Danish design brand Mater has crossed the Danish border to open a new showroom.
From the outside, Mater Earth Gallery looks like a classic London town house. But as you pass through its green doors a little design gem appears, designed by Danish architect Eva Harlou.
“My wish was to design a very Mater-like showroom, but a big part of designing is to make sure your design fits its surroundings. We had our starting point in the Copenhagen showroom, but since the London room is much smaller we had to work much more on the details, through colours and materials, to catch the right spirit,” says Eva Harlou. With the focal point being the forthcoming establishment of Mater Earth Galleries in several cities in Europe, she and Mater founded the Earth Studio.
Harlou’s connection to Mater began with the launch of the Winston Daybed in 2017. The architect also designed the Double Bottle and is working on two more projects for the design brand: a product range of lighting, and dining chairs. This recent yet already strong collaboration has made it easy for her to slide into the position of showroom designer.
“I know Mater and they know me. Through our previous collaborations I’ve got to know their design aesthetics, favourite materials, colour scheme and mantra – as well as their working procedure, which has given me a head start in the showroom design process,” she explains.
Harlou continues: “From the beginning, the concept for Mater Earth Gallery was very clear. The Mater spirit is built on Scandinavian aesthetics, sustainable design, and a feeling of extraordinary quality that lasts for years. My job was just to complete the puzzle and design a creative space where anything can happen.”
And anything will happen, because the new Mater Earth Gallery in London is not only a showroom, but a multi-purpose room that will also function as a shop, an office, a gallery, and occasionally a dining room.
“The goal was to create a space which fulfills Mater’s needs for both work and pleasure; a room that supports all the good things Mater offers. Our first principle is that entering the room is a pleasant experience, both for those who work there every day and for customers and visitors stopping by,” Eva Harlou concludes.