Creating texture and depth at the davidson building

Around 10 years ago, the Bill Amberg Studio designed and installed a leather wall and reception desk in the foyer of Southampton Row’s Davidson Building. Both were still going strong, but the owners and developers, Derwent London (a long-standing Bill Amberg collaborator), asked us to return to the space to help give the interiors an aesthetic overhaul.

From three full animal hides, we created a series of horizontally fluted wall panels with disguised seams, that add texture and depth to the reception area. These are complemented by a dramatic 15m desk, supported by a single steel pole and strikingly upholstered in cantilevered red-dyed shoulder leather. Using a finely honed edge-moulding technique, we were able to create the illusion that the desk is fashioned from a single piece of leather.

The final touch – a soft, fluted reception bench colour matched to the desk – gave the space the update it needed, turning the area into a bright, modern and welcoming entry point into a remarkable building.