Work Space: Chat with Linehouse on Herschel Supply Co.

Popular retro bag and accessories manufacturer, Herschel Supply Co. opened up their first office in China just a couple weeks ago. The designers behind its Shanghai office is Linehouse, the same talented team that created other creative work spaces in town, including WeWork, Factory Five, and BAOBAO to name a few. Adding Herschel's Supply Co. to one of their latest collaborations, Linehouse co-founder, Briar Hickling talks about working with the Canadian brand.

This was the first project of a growing relationship between Linehouse and Herschel, for projects in China and Canada. In being familiar with their brand and having worked together on various schemes, it was great to find a client that has a shared sensibility and motivation. 

On the design

Herschel is a design driven brand and we aimed to capture both the urban or nature and utilitarian qualities in the spatial design of the office. We wanted the design to lend itself to the streetscape, to capture this urban quality. The operable façade opens to the laneway, blurring the exterior and interior, allowing the interior seating area to be an extension of the streetscape.

We inserted a black metal framework into the space. Occupying this structure is a lounge seating area, pantry, meeting room, bathroom and storage. Sectionally, glass divides the different programmes, allowing transparency throughout the enclosure. The surrounding open space operates as the work area. This utilitarian structure is operable, with corrugated sliding doors to the meeting room and pantry area, these can be closed or opened up depending on how much privacy is needed.  

On how their concept fits the esthetics of the brand

As a lifestyle brand, Herschel has a strong connection to the urban environment, hence the large entryway and the connection to the laneway outside. The way the space opens out means that it is very connected to the community and the streetscape. We selected materials that reflected both the utilitarian and urban nature of the brand like corrugated steel, black cork, concrete, bricks, raw steel. 

Briar Hickling continues,

We responded to the functional requirements in the same practical way - with operable elements to create and divide the various required spaces, such as break out rooms, kitchen, sitting area and the main open office space in a way that offers flexibility to the team working there.

On being distinctive

Every project we do is different. We always find a unique spatial quality and narrative for every project we take onboard. For this particular project the design is a response to the site and context as well as taking reference from the Herschel brand itself and their design ethos. 

Images courtesy of Linehouse