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Wooden workspace

A well-engineered project can be a great example to other designers. This office in London is a lesson in how to shape a space with a limited budget. It also looks quite stunning.

Spread across two walls of a home office, the wooden work-space is characterised by machine cut wood and a curvy aesthetic. The aim was to create a customised, individualist space for the client, whose brief included terms such as singular and sculptural. Not an easy combination with restricted means.

The designers, Synthesis DNA, took the basic space, filled it with the required volumes for necessaries such as computers, shredder, storage and so on, and moulded a fresh form over the top. This shape is what they call a conceptual dynamic surface.

These curves help to hide office with its boxy nature, but it also provides a lesson in how to physically create a futuristic looking space. Using cnc-milling, the designers formed over 100 birch wood ribs. Each one has a different profile that was drawn in a 2D cad programme.

It’s the combination of all of the plied ribs that makes the space work. With each panel slightly different from the ones next to it, a geometrical shape slowly emerges. This makes the studio look almost as though it has been carved out of a solid block of wood.

Most of the work was completed off-site by a dedicated constructor. The wood was partly pre-fabricated immediately after milling, which increases construction efficiency and accuracy. According to the designers, this system also results in a 25% saving on the material used.

Integrating the large verticals with small plywood struts improves tension and stability. It also provides the user with some space for smaller objects and perhaps a letter or two. These horizontals are an invitation to standing back from the wall: concentrating on the struts brings the outline of a world map to the fore.

Behind two large and self-hinging panels, Perspex boxes collect clutter. Using the translucent plastic meant the designers could light them from within using LEDs, adding more futuristic looks to an already impressive office.


Watch a video here. All images are by Peter Guenzel, for Synthesis DNA.


  1. Gabry Baarslag says:

    Hout op zijn mooist!