The new Hawkes Bay premises of David Trubridge is a multi-functional space that embodies the designer’s philosophy.
November 10th, 2011
David Trubridge and his team recently set up shop in a self-designed new workspace and showroom in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay.
The studio creates an important public interface – a large, functional space for Trubridge to showcase all his pieces, and an accommodating place for visitors.
“We have never had a public face before,” Trubridge says. “Until now there has never been anywhere to see everything that we do. This includes our normal stock lights and our large feature lights like the Wing and Clouds, along with furniture, woodblock prints, landscape photographs, rugs, fabrics, and small accessories like boxes and bowls.
“The space allows us to launch new large pieces, like our Sunrise Sofa or Baskets of Knowledge, that shops are reluctant to take. Seeing our display has inspired some retailers to go back and do more with their own spaces!”
A focal point of the showroom is a large timber staircase – initially met with some resistance, the end result is striking.
“It is slightly unusual,” Trubridge says, “being made from a sort of giant plywood of solid timber, and I have left all the ends underneath at random lengths to emphasise this.
“We had a battle with engineers but finally convinced them to allow us to build it to prove its structural integrity. I knew it would work, but its structure could not be calculated. Similarly, the steel panels we have fastened to the exterior of the showroom have caused some interest. They are derived from the same pencil doodles in my workbook that we used for the graphics on our packaging of the kitset lights. As the cardboard box contains the kitset, so the building contains our whole operation.”
Efficiency was a key goal of the design – the space needed to be sustainable, as well as comfortable and pleasant, all created within a tight budget.
“It is the first timber framed commercial building in Hawkes Bay – the long-run ply roof beams (LVL) give it a much warmer, softer feeling, and of course wood is carbon positive, unlike steel or concrete, which have very high embedded energy,” Trubridge explains.
“The workroom has underfloor heating with lots of natural lighting and ventilation. We buy 100% renewable electricity. It is actually quite rare to find a design studio, showroom and manufacturing all in the same place!”
Trubridge hopes to develop and extend the use of his new space further as time goes on, experimenting with new concepts and hosting events and workshops.
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