The lobby area of this pioneering new office, retail and residential development in Central London gave the Bill Amberg Studio an excellent opportunity to explore and showcase the properties of leather as a three-dimensional material. Working with project architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the studio created an undulating wall of leather that mimicked the building’s curvy glass façade (itself a homage to contours of 1937 design classic, the Aalto vase).
Using a semi-soft saddlery leather spread over combination of neoprene and Plastazote foams, we were able to create a smooth and even wave effect on each three-metre panel. Stitching techniques from saddlery were used to fix the panels in place, with recessed stitchlines to protect the thread. Positioning the panels at 5mm intervals added depth and definition to the 40sqm wall area.
Complemented by the matching leather seat pad on the reception bench, the result was a nut-brown ‘curtain’ of leather that brought warmth, texture and tactility (and, of course, natural fireproofing) to the space.