Some of Africa’s great designers have come together to present a ‘dreamhouse’ of South African design at Hyde Park Corner — the country’s premier retail hub — where everyone is always welcome.
Imagine that home of a friend or family member where you have always felt truly welcome? Where you can hang your hat, kick off your shoes and enjoy the warmth of belonging somewhere new? That is Always Welcome.
The Always Welcome co-operative was founded by leading South African designers and manufacturers, in collaboration with Garreth van Niekerk and Alan Hayward from creative consultancy Coraltree Projects. Comprising a retail gallery and events activation programme, Always Welcome travels to retail environments enlivening and activating unused shopfronts and spaces with contemporary South African design for limited periods.
Always Welcome is now taking a bold new step into a showroom space at Hyde Park Corner (located in the upper mall of the shopping centre, opposite Tasha’s) where various furniture makers, weavers, ceramicists and photographers will display their work as a collective in spaces designed to emulate living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and the like.
The interiors of the Always Welcome Nomadic Retail spaces will be realised in partnership with luxury retail designer Stephen Klein of Klein Concepts, with branding and art direction by Vincent Truter, and in partnership with key local design groups such as Earthcote, Real Paint and River Fabrics. Always Welcome’s showroom aims to represent the possibilities of a ‘dream house’ built exclusively from South African design, with colours and lighting embracing the uplifting sense of October’s renewed hope, and the promise of Spring’s new blooms.
“It’s been an incredible journey working with some of the country’s most inspiring design minds to realise the dream of Always Welcome. The intention is for Always Welcome to take up residence in their Hyde Park Corner space for a minimum of seven months, beyond that we would love to be in a position to consider making this a permanent space, but we will cross that ‘welcome mat’ when we get to it,” says co-founder, Garreth van Niekerk.
The following design houses will be showcased in the first ever Always Welcome Nomadic Retail Collective:
• Dokter and Misses
• Mash T
• The Urbanative
• Trevor Stuurman
• Joe Paine
• Gone Rural
• Wessel Snyman
• Orlando lighting
• Lothar Böttcher
• Okra Candles
• Indigenus Planters
• SMTNG Good Studio
• Coral Stephens Handweaving
• Vorster & Braye
Hyde Park Corner’s General Manager, Jacqui McGeehan says the centre is thrilled to add this creative design collective to the HPC offering: “We truly believe that Hyde Park Corner is a perfect match for the type of consumer Always Welcome would like to reach, and we are truly delighted to provide a platform which can showcase the work of what really is some of the most creative and proudly South African designers.”
In addition, visitors can look forward to Always Welcome Events, which are carefully designed to bring life into the space and engage new audiences for the work of these carefully selected designers. From product launches, to event collaborations with other retailers in the same environment, to Meet-the-Maker talks and in-store family lunches, Always Welcome’s Spring programme will engage new customers and dedicated design audiences alike.
For the first two weeks of October, Always Welcome will also present a selection of conceptual furniture pieces in the centre court such as Houtlander’s unique Preservation Bench, as well as new pieces by Dokter and Misses, and the first look at a new collection of works created in collaboration between artists Trevor Stuurman and Esther Mahlangu. For more about Always Welcome get in touch with our Always Welcome product specialist Anthony Leonsins on firstname.lastname@example.org, and for press and partnership enquiries don’t hesitate to contact Garreth van Niekerk on email@example.com