RH at Aynhoe Park
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Goppion recently completed the first phase of an exciting new project, working with renowned high-end American lifestyle brand RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) as they launched their first destination experience outside the US.
RH has developed a highly successful business model combining luxury shopping in a grand setting with a high-quality restaurant and hospitality experience. Recently the brand has begun to look to expand beyond North America, launching RH England, The Gallery, at the historic Aynhoe Park estate.
Nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside, approximately two hours from London, this sprawling stately home has a storied history, including its almost complete destruction during the turbulent English Civil War. Now, once more, the Grade-I listed house has been carefully restored – and is repurposed for a new era.
Goppion’s work at Aynhoe Park has concentrated on the semi-public library and gallery – the latter of which will display documents, reproductions of original drawings, architectural models, and other artifacts from the Sir John Soane Museum. Soane famously remodeled Aynho House in 1798, and the new exhibition is a tribute to that personal connection, and his wider architectural legacy.
Meanwhile, the Architecture & Design Library hosts a fine collection of vintage, contemporary and rare books. It is here, at the center of the Library, that Goppion’s first commission for the project can be found.
It is a single, conservation-grade showcase that houses a great rarity: a first (Italian) modern-language edition of De Architectura libri Dece (The Ten Books on Architecture), dating from 1521. Originally the work of 1st-century BP Roman architect Vitruvius, this tome remained a seminal textbook on classical architecture for centuries.
An immediately recognizable highlight for visitors is Vitruvian Man – based on Vitruvius’ description of human anatomy. Goppion’s showcase displays this rarity, which is mirrored in the space by a wall-mounted replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s later iconic drawing.
Phase two will concentrate on other rare books in the collection, working with project designer Charles Marsden-Smedley.
Image courtesy ©2023 RH