Studio MUTT completes Universal Works store at London’s Coal Drops Yard


French & Tye

Designed by Studio MUTT, the Universal Works store at London’s Coal Drops Yard retail development comprises a series of large-scale sculptural insertions, including a full-height mirrored wall and display stands made from large blocks of red cedar. The project marks the second collaboration between the menswear designer and architect, following 26 Berwick Street in Soho, London.

Intended to form a close relationship between architecture and clothing, the functional yet vibrant design responds to the layout of the building, but can also be tailored to subsequent sites. The store reveals as much of the existing building as possible, while adding individual joinery items where needed. Everyday commercial materials, such as steel framing channels and aluminium raised access flooring, are employed as distinctive finished surfaces.

Floor plan and section

The main design feature is a four-metre-high mirrored wall that separates front and back of house. Set at 45-degrees, it creates a spatial illusion of volume and depth. The wall is articulated by three doors, the main one being set on a central pivot that allows it to rotate through 360-degrees, creating a sense of theatre to the back of house storage area. The reverse of the wall is lined in green-stained oak, which is extended to envelop the changing rooms, adding warmth and texture.

Designed in collaboration with lighting designer Inessa Demidova, bespoke linear luminaires provide bright and even illumination throughout the space. Conceived as ‘monumental insertions’, the light fittings sit between the Victorian cast iron beams, emphasising the building’s structural grid.


The clothing is displayed on Unistrut hanging and shelving modules that are powder-coated green, and clamped to and suspended from the beams above. The vibrant tones are reminiscent of industrial equipment used in the mills and factories, which have in turn influenced Universal Works’ clothing collections. Loose or folded items are displayed on large stacks of red cedar blocks that double as moth-repellents.

Additional Images