Lever House


Bill Amberg Studio is working closely with architectural design practice Marmol Radziner on a series of large leather wall panels as part of the reimagining of the iconic Lever House in New York.

Hailed as ‘strikingly new’ when it was first unveiled by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1952, Lever House introduced a groundbreaking glass-and-steel design to the brick and stone skyline that had previously dominated Park Avenue in New York’s Midtown. Now, this culturally significant building is being repurposed and refurbished for the demands of 21st century office life.

Starting at the lift lobby and extending around the corridor to an open-plan office and breakout area, the wall panelling sets the tone for a subtle, sophisticated refresh of the interior that sensitively updates the space. ‘Marmol Radziner love our crafted aesthetic and give us a lot of freedom in terms of what leather we specify, and then build the design around it, matching their colourways to the leather,’ says Ned Ingham, our Head of Design.

Each panel, made from a deep chestnut, full vegetable-tanned shoulder from Tuscany, stands at over 3 metres tall. Over 150 panels are required for the project: these are joined with a simple compressed butted detail horizontally, while a 5mm radius is left on the vertical, giving a sense of the weight and body of the leather without exposing the edges.

The use of a recessed saddle stitch helps to hide the seam between the individual pieces of leather, meaning you can run your hand over the surface without catching your fingers on the stitching. Thanks to the nature of the vegetable-tanned leather, most scratches can be rubbed out, meaning it will age far better than faux leather or plastic alternatives.

Overall, the panelling lends a reassuringly sophisticated clubhouse mood to the space, bringing the senses into play. ‘Architecture isn’t just about how things look: people forget about smell and touch,’ Ned explains. ‘The panels have a really subtle feeling that’s not to be underestimated.’


Keep an eye on this page for further updates and visuals as the project develops.

Architect: Marmol Radziner

Date Completed: E.C.D 2024

Client: Marmol Radziner