THE ‘LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair Berkeley Square’ (September 19-23) may have a great Mayfair location but, since its launch in 2009, it has struggled with how to fit the 90-odd exhibitors into a marquee within the tight confines of the site.
However, last week LAPADA announced
that this year they will share a structure with the
French-organised Pavilion of Art & Design
London (PAD) which runs from October 10-14.
This seems a shrewd move as the fairs
are very close time-wise and makes sense for both parties, both
financially and in securing a long-term contract with Westminster
The collaboration had no doubt been
aided by LAPADA's appointment of Mieka Sywak as fair and events
organiser in November 2011. She was previously associate director
of Pavilion of Art & Design London, helping to
establish and organise this event, so is experienced with working
with the Berkeley Square site and the physical restrictions imposed
by the fiercely protected plane trees, planted there in the 18th
century. She also worked for Hopkins Custot gallery, part owned by
PAD co-founder Stéphane Custot.
"In essence, the shared structure
means LAPADA fair exhibitors will benefit from a completely new,
simplified layout, more spacious 3.5 metre-tall walls for a
majority of the stands, wider aisles, and an increased square
meterage for the fair overall," said Ms Sywak.
"There will be around 10% more stands
than last year when the fair had 88 exhibitors."
One section of the new structure will
be double-height with two floors, housing a restaurant with outside
terrace overlooking the square on the upper level. On the
ground-floor level of this section, a new stand option will be
offered at a lower price per square metre than any stands available
last year, because of the stand walls being 3m tall, rather than
3.5m elsewhere in the structure. Stand rates elsewhere in the fair
will remain at 2011 prices.
This year will also see an improved online
preview section to the fair's website (www.lapadalondon.com), where dealers can upload
stock before the fair, as well as the introduction of a new Mayfair
Cultural App, with a map of the 60-odd Mayfair and St James's-based
This is intended to encourage
fairgoers to visit other galleries while in the area and LAPADA are
urging these galleries to schedule autumn exhibitions to open
during the fair.