Timberyard coffee shops are at the forefront of the trendy ‘coworking cafés’, blurring the lines between a café and office space to keep up to speed with the ever evolving needs of a London worker.
Plumen features extensively throughout the TY shops, though the true showstopper is a multicolour Plumen 001 chandelier – a nod to the iconic London Underground colour palette. More than a design statement, its has become a key element of the branding as it features in both Soho and Seven Dials TY locations.
We sat down to talk with Darren Elliott, Co-founder and Director of Timberyard, about the importance of lighting design, function and aesthetics.
TY is an innovative space that prides itself on being incredibly responsive to the different lifestyle and working needs of its London clientele. How important is lighting for Timberyard workspaces?
It’s everything to be honest. We researched intensely everything we needed to provide to create the perfect coworking environment and there is in fact a checklist that you really need to get right.
Turns out a good mix of natural daylight and artificial light is right up there, as you might imagine, along with a climate controlled environment, comfortable seating in different styles, areas of privacy, and music low enough just to mask conversation (important for business meetings).
In particular, what were TY’s specific needs and challenges when it came down to designing the lighting for the space?
We really wanted something memorable for our first shop, something instantly recognisable, almost a signature design feature, that we would go on to repeat in each of our subsequent shops.
We had already seen and loved the Plumen 001 lamps but couldn’t think how to hang them differently. In the end we looped them over our counter using coloured cables in the different colours of the London Underground map. Each cable is however hand painted, much to the frustration of our electricians who offered to paint them once we discovered they didn’t come in all the colours we wanted.
The Plumen chandeliers in your spaces are bold, beautiful statements. In what way does the installation reflect the character of TY’s brand?
Our spaces are bright and airy with welcome splashes of colour and I think the Plumen lights are a big contributor to the overall experience. Not only do they illuminate our spaces with spectacularly clean light but they help draw your eye up to appreciate the high ceilings and industrial ducting which we love just as much.
When choosing Plumen features for your coffee shops and workspaces, what were the most important factors impacting your design decisions?
Design and innovation is key for us, but we love simplicity and we especially like Plumen lamps for their reliability.
What opportunities for flexibility did you have to realise your installation with Plumen products?
For our Soho location we met with the Plumen team in set to discuss our requirements and in particular look at the space that we felt was crying out for a lighting installation.
The Drop Hat shades are suspended in an imposing arrangement that can be viewed from all perspectives as the stairwell curls down around it and you descend into the creative companies workspace on the lower ground floor.
What has been the feedback from staff and customers?
Well our shops are unofficial Plumen showrooms really, so I’m hoping we might have sent many people your way in the past 4 years.
Our customers always compliment us on our lighting, and still ask where we get our lights from and we simply thank them for saying so and send them the link to your website.
Do you have any future plans to work with Plumen products?
Absolutely, always and forever! Just a few weeks ago we met with your team and talked through some of your new innovations to see how we can incorporate them into our next locations.