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Oliver Gregory

(1930—1993)


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Terence Conran (b. 1931)

Ambrose Heal (1872—1959) shopkeeper and furniture designer

 

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(1930–93)

A British designer specializing in commercial and domestic interiors, Oliver Gregory was perhaps best known as a key figure in establishing the ‘look’ of Terence Conran's Habitat shops in the 1960s. After a period of National Service in the RAF Police and taking up an apprenticeship in cabinetmaking Gregory travelled to Melbourne, Australia, in 1956. He worked on Kurt Geiger department stores for the shop‐fitting firm Brooks Robinson, soon becoming a partner in an architectural firm. On his return to England he joined an architectural practice and met Terence Conran in 1960. They became close friends and Gregory soon contributed his ideas to the Habitat interiors of quarry tiles, wooden ceilings, and whitewashed walls and spotlights seen in the first Habitat store that opened in the Fulham Road, London, in 1964. Gregory went on to play an important role in developing the national and international Habitat brand. He also designed a number of Habitat products, going on in the 1980s to supervise the redesign of the store interiors for Mothercare, Richards, and Heal's, all of which had become part of the Conran empire. For much of his life Gregory had a keen interest in restaurants, briefly setting and running up his own restaurant in 1968, and was involved, with Conran and London art dealer John Kasmin, in the establishment of the tastefully designed and equipped Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, London, in the early 1970s.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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