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GSP and Gallowglass Security at the Saatchi Gallery

  • Blog
  • 29th May 2014
  • By Cora J

The historic Duke of York’s HQ , an impressive 70,000 square foot Grade II listed building; located on the Kings Road in the heart of Chelsea enjoys immense kudos as the present home to the Saatchi Gallery, a stunning forum for contemporary art. As well as being one of the most celebrated and sought after event hire venues in London and the United Kingdom.

Its Grade II status was acquired in 1969, on account of its outstanding historic and architectural special interest. Its construction was completed in 1801 in accordance with the designs of John Sanders, who incidentally, designed the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

In its history it has undergone many incarnations. Initially it was named Royal Military Asylum, and was a school for the children of soldiers' widows. Following which it became known as the Duke of York's Royal Military School in 1892. In 1909 it became known as the Duke of York’s Barracks.

During World War II it hosted the trials of Josef Jakobs and Theodore Schurch, who were both tried and convicted under the Treachery Act 1940. The former enjoyed the notoriety of being the last person executed in the Tower of London, by military firing squad.

The building and site was eventually sold by the Ministry of Defence to the Cadogan Estates in 2003, and the site was stylishly developed by them including a public square, high end housing and retail outlets.

In 2008 the Saatchi relocated there, where it has been ever since. The buildings redevelopment, coupled with the Saatchi launch on October the 9th 2008 was a triumph and critically well received. Laura Cummings of the Observer described it as one of “ the most beautiful art spaces in London”, on account of the  exhibition spaces which are characterised by their sense of equal portion, wooden floors, height and light.

What differentiates the Saatchi Gallery’s from others is its underlying philosophy; in that it seeks to exhibit interesting and engaging art, in all its mediums, that is being created now,  and making it accessible to the mainstream rather than the sole preserve of the art world elite.

As such the Gallery could be said to constantly re-invent itself with its imaginative and thematic approach to the exhibitions, as evidenced this year by Pangaea and the recent launch of Abstract America.

Over the years there has been controversy. In our view though, this is a fundamentally important and indispensable feature of the creative process. Art, as an expression of creative skill and imagination, is ultimately a subjective expression, and an expression that is refracted through the prism of the artist’s perception of experience and reality. Inevitably this process must on occasions polarise opinion, as well as having the capacity to shock.

Running in parallel with the launch of the Saatchi Gallery in 2008, was the launch of Duke of York’s HQ as an event hire venue. An irresistible prospect to many given the elegance and dimensions of the venue, and its exhibition spaces, affording immense scope for large (with its 1,500 person capacity) and intimate events.

The award winning event management and production agency, GSP, were instructed to market and manage event hire there, and have done so with great aplomb and success to date. This is on account of the team at GSP, having an inexhaustible capacity to transform the minimalist interior into an original event setting, with their penchant for imagination, flair and elegance. As such all manner of prestige corporate events have been conducted at the venue since 2008.

Gallowglass Security is delighted to have been associated with GSP and the Saatchi Gallery since 2008, as one of the preferred security suppliers there. Our status as a preferred security supplier is not one we regard lightly or with any sense of complacency. The unique Gallowglass Security ethos, and our approach to event security services, we believe accounts for our longevity there, and will continue to do so!

If you are interested in hiring the venue , please contact Sarah Parker,  GSP Venues Ltd on 0208 968 9331


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