An Office Of Stacked Things

A space design that reflects our values and process, 2019

For our new studio space in London’s Shoreditch area, we commissioned and collaborated with the Sam Jacob Studio.

The SJS’s approach was to create a raw yet refined atmosphere, where each component of the space is articulated. By making the decisions and assembly visible in the project’s finished state, it retains a sense of the design process and thinking.

As an international design studio, we value ‘collective openness’ and celebrate different viewpoints and skill-sets. The collection of raw-yet-curated materials used in this new space reflects this sentiment. Our studio now not only represents how we work in a very honest manner but also gives us inspiration and surprises.

The design utilised a rich mix of both natural and industrial materials; cement board are set next to marble panels, cast concrete objects are used alongside chunks of timber. These are brought together to create a language of contrasting materials with different values, textures, finishes and reference points. Rather than resolving into a single aesthetic, the pallet feels more like an architect’s material library, where unexpected juxtapositions occur through cataloguing.

This variety is held together by frameworks and armatures that give the space its structure. Powder-coated steel frames are used to create the skeleton of the kitchen/workshop space, with appliances, panelling, cupboards and storage simply slotted in. The same powder-coated frames are used to create specially designed furniture including a long central table for the office. Panels of marble, plywood and cement board are dropped into these simple frames to create tabletops.

New partitions and shelving are created by assembling materials in a series of ‘stacks’ and ‘piles’. White horizontal planks are supported by a series of objects and material fragments, O’s and X’s cast in concrete, orange-tinted acrylic tubes, sections of a silver birch tree, reflective chromed pipe, even piles of material offcuts salvaged from the process of fabrication are used to create the stacked structures.

It's a system that learns from the most basic ways of placing one material on top of another where the process of assembly becomes the formal arrangement. Shelves created by the act of putting things on a shelf.

Sam Jacob said:
“It's always great to work with clients who themselves are designers. Takram works in a very different field but our discussions were very fluid and inspiring. We wanted to articulate something of the process of design through the project, a place where the practicalities of project making become inspiring and unexpected.

CREDIT

Direction: Yosuke Ushigome (Takram)
Interior Design: Sam Jacob Studio

Related Projects