For five years, Nina Yashar of Nilufar Gallery has done her own version of “squatting:” occupying a living space, and transforming it into a combination residence and exhibition, challenging traditional art and design perspectives. After past runs in Paris, Beirut, and Milan, she unveiled the fifth iteration, Squat London. Partnering with local architecture firm Shalini Misra, Yashar took over a 2,500-square-foot Victorian era corner apartment near Hyde Park and outfitted it into a luxury apartment for lovers of both art and design. Says the gallery owner, “with Squat I tried to give life to an original domestic landscape, creating new and unexpected associations between furniture and space. I've always wanted to bring Squat to London; it's a place rich with talents and opportunities, a true window on the world.”
Instilling new life didn’t mean sticking to new pieces; the team filled it with a mix of over 100 pieces of contemporary and historical furniture and art in order to diversify the space and evoke visual and cultural interest. That meant pieces by Gio Ponti, Henri Matisse, Ico Parisi, and Hans Agne Jakobsson were featured alongside those by Lindsey Adelman, David/Nichols, Interior Design Hall of Famer Patricia Urquiola, and limited edition pieces made exclusively for the gallery, including those by Martino Gamper, for a well-rounded collection.
Originally slated to run June to October 2016, Squat has come off the market early. As announced July 25, the apartment was sold, therefore ending the open exhibition. As part of the program, it and all its contents were up for grabs, reinforcing the relative impermanence and nomadic character of Squat’s mission, and fulfilling its destiny as a home. As an ongoing project, it leaves for the next location and mission as quickly as it arrives, to exploit opportunities to further experiment with cultural, geographical, and architectural environments.