The new home of Layer, Benjamin Hubert‘s industrial design agency, is part workspace, part gallery. The interior of the 325-square-metre space, inside a warehouse in London’s Hackney neighbourhood, has been “designed to inspire,” the firm says. Evolving displays found throughout showcase Layer’s work, research, samples and prototypes.
This exhibition of Layer’s portfolio is the dominating design move. The studio’s entrance opens onto a large break-out space, where deep-set display boxes, in a palette of muted hues, are mounted along the length of the wall. They contain a revolving collection of newly launched Layer products for visitors and clients to peruse.
The break-out space can host both brainstorming sessions and one-on-one conversations for the staff of 20. Acoustic dividers, made from recycled PET, are used to create privacy and division for meetings, which take place around circular tables set with Layer’s own lightweight Pair chairs for Fritz Hansen. A private conference room, contained in a tinted Plexiglas cube and outfitted with Hubert’s Ripple table, interrupts the otherwise bright and open room.
The main studio space in the Layer office contains two banks of workstations (with white task chairs by Vitra) separated by an acrylic box containing the GO wheelchair, the firm’s award-winning, 3-D-printed innovation. At the end of the room, a converted retail display system showcases a variety of prototypes and project components. A series of industrial racks along another wall holds models, materials and samples.
The exhibition of the firm’s work continues elsewhere in the Layer office. Layer’s Spinning Lights, in matte grey, light the kitchen and dining area. In the prototyping and workshop room, more prototypes and experiments line the walls. Designers work from a 50-year-old found workbench, a nostalgic piece that’s been with Hubert since he founded his studio.