Dezeen Magazine

Bent timber desk in circular lobby of 22 Bishopsgate by Bill Amberg Studio

Bill Amberg Studio creates ribbon-like leather ceiling for London office lobby

Padded leather panels twist their way across the ceiling in the lobby of the 22 Bishopsgate skyscraper in London as part of an installation developed for the office building by leather specialist Bill Amberg Studio.

The atrium spans the ground and first floor of the 62-storey skyscraper, which was designed by PLP Architecture and completed in 2020.

This lobby, known as The Library, serves as the centre point between the building's two entrances and doubles as a gallery showing temporary art exhibitions.

Bent timber desk under leather ceiling installation by Bill Amberg Studio
Bill Amberg Studio has created a ceiling installation for the 22 Bishopsgate lobby

The brief called for an installation with visual impact to draw people into the space from outside of the building.

Working closely with PLP Architecture over the course of three years, Bill Amberg Studio created a ceiling installation made from twisted leather panels that resemble pieces of ribbon.

The padded panels rise up from the escalator soffit at ground level and twist across the ceiling before returning to floor level on the opposite side of the entrance hall.

Twisted leather ceiling panels in 22 Bishopsgate lobby
It consists of flat and twisted leather panels

Backlit by a Barrisol ceiling system, the installation was designed to add a "warm heart" to the building, the studio says.

Its construction consists of a two-part shell that was designed and developed at the studio, with the leatherwork carried out by specialist craftspeople in the Bill Amberg Studio workshop in Park Royal, north London.

The studio developed a heavily drummed and naturally grained leather especially to upholster the installation and complement the office's internal finishes of stone and steel.

Its soft tan finish has natural tonal and textural variations, helping to create a sense of warmth while differentiating the panels.

Leather-clad panelling was also added to the walls of the atrium across both the ground floor and the first floor, creating a sense of continuity within the building.

Close-up of bent-wood desk and leather wall panels by Bill Amberg Studio
Leather panelling was added to the walls to create a cohesive look

"It was a challenging project but immensely satisfying to see the final installation, showing that leatherwork can enhance and bring warmth to large open spaces on a grand scale," commented Bill Amberg, founder and director of Bill Amberg Studio.

Previously, the specialist leather studio has teamed up with well-known designers including Marcel Wanders and Timorous Beasties to digitally print cowhides with close-up fractal patterns and colourful splatters resembling Rorschach tests.