Ladbroke Hall is another factory to culture conversion, but this time with a twist
A new cultural space in London follows the formula of reinventing an industrial architecture, but this is not a brutalist factory transformed into a contemporary art space. Ladbroke Hall in Notting Hill is a Beaux Arts car factory, now home to furniture, food, music & design.

The trend for converting industrial and factory spaces into spaces of cotemporary art is not a new idea: think Herzog & de Meuron’s Tate Modern, Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz MOCAA, or the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan (see 00105). But when we think of such cultural reuse, we would usually think of the original shell as a concrete monolith and not a Beaux Arts style classical pile.

Ladbroke Hall in London’s Notting Hill disguises its industrial heritage well. Once the main building for a showroom and assembly factory for Clément-Talbot cars, with its oversized portico under a glazed arched window and heraldic crest, you would be forgiven for thinking it is a grand private country-house style residence for a wealthy West Londoner. There are connections to a country estate, though – the name Ladbroke Hall was inspired by the country seat of the parents-in-law of the financer of the project, Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, and the coat of arms is that of his family.


That is where the similarities end, however, as internally the building was very different to any country home. While immaculately finished within grand architecture and no-expense-spared material finishes, the 1902 hall was the front building to Britain’s first purpose-built car factory, housing the offices and boardroom for a factory campus and test track extended into the lands behind.

After World War 2 concluded, Talbot moved production to a new site, with the site changing through a variety of uses including a car dealership and Thames Television studios, until during covid when the founders of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail, saw the vast building and saw its potential as a home of culture, art, design, and dining.


Having opened in 2023 as the 4,000 square metres-large Ladbroke Hall, it now offers all these things across a suite of spaces, with a restaurant at the heart underneath the central arched roof. Carpenters Workshop Gallery, which specialises in design and furniture, takes up the majority of one wing in a variety of spaces to display delicate jewellery through to heavy furniture. This is the London HQ of a gallery which also boasts spaces in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles with a focus on functional art, collectable design, and jewellery.

Just opened in their main space in London is a display by Wendell Castle, who makes both sculpture and extremely sculptural furniture. With a process that begins with clamped masses of stacked, laminated wood, Castle then directly carves sinuous and nature-influenced shapes into the material. Recent adoption of digital modelling has allowed him to explore new, experimental forms, including one work on show, Suspended Disbelief (2015) a cantilevered table surface which extends over four metres in total length.

The works on show are all black, reading as constantly shifting silhouettes as one walks around the immaculate white gallery spaces, but up close the interplay between carved form and laminated wood grain becomes clear, creating an subtlety of material perhaps not expected when seen from across the room.


Another American artist, Los Angeles-based Roger Herman, is showing in another Carpenters Workshop Gallery space with a mix of ceramics and painting. Six large canvases of abstract, colourful texture hang on walls surrounding plinths of pots and mezcal tequila cups, each celebrating a handmade finish in both form and playful applied colour. In an adjacent gallery, the scale of presentation gets smaller still with a display of jewellery created as a collaboration between designers Michèle Lamy and Loree Rodkin, a series of seven zodiac-inspired rings – which the pair have coined “finger armour.”


At the centre of Ladbroke Hall is a new restaurant venture, Pollini, which uses the building’s grand portico as its primary entrance. It is led by and takes its name from head chef Emanuele Pollinni, and has an fine dining Italian focus within a space designed by Vincenzo De Cotiis Architects, who have created a minimal and striking black and white theme set off by furniture from Carpenters Workshop Gallery designers.

On the plate, think of food such as vitello tonnato, monkfish with clams, beef carpaccio with artichoke, and mortadella with black truffle and tapioca crisp. From April, diners will also be able to enjoy these dishes in the new rear garden, laid out by Chelsea Flower Show winner Luciano Giubbilei, or within a Jean Prouvé-designed pavilion. The waiting staff all wear a uniform inspired by the car factory heritage, overalls with the Sunbeam Talbot Automobile Works round logo on the rear.


That logo returns at a much larger scale in an enormous hall within the second wing of the building. The logo is looking down over a large hall used as a for-hire space and regular musical performances, including a regular jazz night. Tucked away under this space, with the character of a secret speakeasy, is a cocktail bar, and is central to the community of art and design practitioners and lovers that the owners hope will frequent the building.


Ladbroke Hall is the new arts stage on which to experience creative expression in its many forms: contemporary art, collectible design, dance, culture, dining and music. Open to the public and Patrons, the reimagined 43,000 square foot space connects to the renewed cultural vitality in the Notting Hill area. Ladbroke Hall is steered by Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail, founders of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the global leading gallery in collectible design and functional art whose London gallery space will now be based in Ladbroke Hall. It also has galleries in Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

Built in 1903, Ladbroke Hall was once the front building of an enormous car showroom and assembly plant – the Clément-Talbot factory. The Beaux Arts building includes a grand portico and heraldic crest sitting atop a magnificent arched window, evoking an expansive Edwardian country house. The reimagined space has been restored and includes permanent artist contributions from figures including Nacho Carbonel, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Ingrid Donat, Luciano Giubbilei, Michele Lamy and Rick Owens, Sir Christopher Le Brun PPRA, Nicolas Schuybroek, Robert Stadler, among others. It also houses Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s London flagship and a restaurant led by Chef Emanuele Pollini, the winner of the 2020 Gambero Rosso International Award.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery produces and exhibits functional sculptures by international rising and established artists or designers going outside their traditional territories of expression. Actively involved in the research and production of limited edition works, the gallery’s choices are guided by seeking an emotional, artistic and historical relevance and breaking boundaries between art and design.

The gallery is based on the partnership of Julien Lombrail and Loïc le Gaillard. They first opened a space in London’s Chelsea in 2006 in a former carpenter’s workshop; they run galleries in London, Paris and New York and a pop-up programme. In 2015, the gallery opened The Workshop in Roissy, a unique 8,000 square meters space dedicated to artistic research bringing together elite artisans. Carpenters Workshop Gallery is recognized as a leading gallery for contemporary collectible design. The gallery also launched Carpenters Workshop Jewellery in 2019, dedicated to wearable art, and more recently, a new offering committed to championing museum quality historical design, seeking to establish a rigorously researched thread between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s icons.


Further information about Ladbroke Hall, exhibitions at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, events, and reservations at Pollini can be found here:


figs.i,v,xix Ladbroke Hall. Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
fig.iii 1903 LBH Factory overview. Image Courtesy of Ladbroke Hall.
fig.ii,vi,viii,x Suspended Disbelief, exhibition view, photography by Benjamin Baccarani, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
fig.ix Wendell Castle_Hope_Photo by John Pierre Vaillancourt.
figs.xi,xiii From California With Love, exhibition view, photography by Benjamin Baccarani, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
fig.xii HunRod, Dragon (2021), photography by Oliver Beamish Photography, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Jewellery.
figs.vii,xiv Ladbroke Hall’s restaurant interior. Image Mark Cocksedge.
fig.xv Pollini at Ladbroke Hall_plated food. Image credit Melisa Coppola.
fig.xvi,xvii The Ladbroke Hall Mechanics Suit by Giles Deacon. Image credit Mark Cocksedge.
fig.xviii 1903 Front view of LBH. Image Courtesy of Ladbroke Hall.
fig.xx Courtesy of Ladbroke Hall

publication date
13 March 2024

Beaux Arts, Carpenters Workshop, Wendell Castle, Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, Clement-Talbot, Factory, Furniture, Luciano Giubbilei, Gallery, Roger Herman, Jewellery, Ladbroke Hall, Michèle Lamy, Loïc Le Gaillard, Julien Lombrail, London, Music, Notting Hill, Emanuele Pollini, Jean Prouvé, Restaurant, Loree Rodkin, Sculpture, Vincenzo De Cotiis Architects