The German Gymnasium

In 2015, Dais Contemporary commissioned a collection of paintings for the German Gymnasium Restaurant, London. As a collection the artworks play a vital role in telling the story of the German Gymnasium’s past and making the modern day punter aware of the buildings rich history.

In 2016, the German Gym was named the most beautiful restaurant in the world by the International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

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Dais commissioned emerging artist Maria Savva to produce six artworks for the property, each referencing the history of the site.

Located between King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations, the German Gym was originally constructed in 1864 for the German Gymnastic Society. The building was the first of its type in Britain, and was the first venue to host our National Olympic Games.

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On the upper floor of the premises two anonymous full-length portraits of contemporary gymnasts hang, each featured in a stronghold gymnastic position. Beside these pieces two historical portraits hang (see below) in the arcade of banquette seating. These works feature Edward Gruning RIBA (1837-1908), the architect who designed the German Gymnasium, and Ernst Ravenstein (1834 -1913) a German geographer who was a founding member of the National Olympian Association.

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On the back wall of the premises two full length portraits of Victorian women gymnasts hang. These pieces celebrate the history of the building as the first venue in Britain to house exercise classes for women.

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