Design Talk: Towards 360-degree specialisms

Speaking to Paul Logan, Logan & Golden

In discussions on design and architecture, it’s easy to become obsessed with niche practices. But whilst firms that dedicate their output to a specific discipline understandably deserve our respect and attention, it’s vital not to forget about those who can deliver a more conceptual and academic offering.

Take the pair behind Logan & Golden, for example. Led by Paul Logan and Rich Golden, who together boast more than 30 years experience in furniture and interior, product, and brand design, not to mention architecture, today their business- in one of the north’s most thriving and exciting cities for creativity- provides bespoke solutions to a wide range of clients, taking each project from initial research and concepts through production and beyond.

Paul Logan (right) and Rich Golden (left)

Paul Logan (right) and Rich Golden (left)

Based in Leeds, their achievements extend well beyond the city limits of Yorkshire’s largest city , into neighbouring areas, London, and beyond. Some of their most notable work is right on their doorstep- a re design of the local drinking and music institution The Wardrobe, the concept and design behind successful Leeds based pub chain The Stew and Oyster, and a three store bar and eatery The Woods co owned by Paul, situated in Chapel Allerton, are just a few examples. Add to this new spatial thinking and on the huge Ironworks development, and you start to understand the breadth of the undertakings.

Amongst Logan & Golden’s portfolio is the No.3 Dock St Apartment, which has a particularly interesting, phoenix-like story behind its completely bespoke new interior. After calling co-founder Paul Logan from our own HQ to discuss the practice in more detail, Paul explained how No 3 Dock St had been salvaged and returned to a very desirable city centre living space:

Hi Paul, hope all is well today. So tell us about No 3 Dock St?

“This was an apartment I actually owned, and unfortunately it was a victim of the Christmas floods of 2015. Being a basement and ground floor apartment and situated directly next to the river, it was particularly badly hit. Despite its rather dire condition, it in fact provided us with an opportunity to look at what it was as a whole- you walk in on the bedroom level and then drop down to the living space and kitchen. It was really good to speak with Deltalight about creating a new space with a variety of lighting products and techniques as a way to elevate the downstairs open plan living and dining space up to the mezzanine floor above at street level.

No.3 Dock St Apartment -Logan & Golden with Deltalight

No.3 Dock St Apartment -Logan & Golden with Deltalight

No.3 Dock St Apartment -Logan & Golden with Deltalight

“Also Rich and I were at the time working on a Holbeck development known as Iron Works with award winning sustainable regeneration specialists Igloo Regeneration. We’d been asked by Igloo to research and compile a distinctly different approach to designing and humanising the layouts of the apartments and townhouses for their new Iron Works development and also other developments of Igloo’s that were in the pipeline. With the use of highly sustainable materials we set about opening out new aspects across the interior spaces, working on the premise that if through new lighting techniques, high quality natural materials, and innovative storage we could make even the smallest one bedroom apartment feel open and spacious, then this would perhaps result in a more enduring and enjoyable home.

Iron Works is set to begin construction in 2017, till then we decided to take the approach and materials destined for IronWorks and use No 3 Dock St as a space to showcase the “look and feel” for the design and products intended for IronWorks, which is how we came to work initially with Deltalight

No.3 Dock St Apartment -Logan & Golden with Deltalight

And how did Logan & Golden first spring into life?

“The practice? Well I’ve known Rich Golden for many years. He was working on a project called Greenhouse at the time, very low carbon, sustainable development. He was on the marketing side, and I was on the design side apartments, offices and public space, and then we started looking at how we could do something together.

“Personally over the years I’ve been involved in a lot of production of furniture, and the processes of that. And that goes back to Deltalight, the father was always very much involved in the design side and only recently have they really started to get more designers involved. He wanted to be there for every stage, and this is very much our approach to projects.

As for Rich he has worked in a number of roles within design, in retail, advertising product and publishing in the UK but also overseas. Our combined knowledge of a number of different areas of design we hope results in a broader insight for our clients”

No.3 Dock St Apartment -Logan & Golden with Deltalight

But would you say you have an area of specialism?

“At the moment really we’re about concept to production- what we specialise in is catering for people who want sites to be found for a restaurant, bar work or whatever, we can locate and see it through to completion. So it’s quite a full service that we offer.

“One thing we have found in Leeds is that there are a lot of interior designers, but it’s the range of projects we can and have delivered on which allows for a variety of approaches. Sometimes they are quite conceptual. In the past we have done a lot of exhibition spaces and questioning projects, which aren’t necessarily always commercial but with this and research, we can be fairly academic in our approach to our commercial clients.

“In Manchester I’ve done a lot of research groups into new technologies and processes of production. I suppose, rather than specialisms, we’re both strong in who we are and our individual backgrounds, and very strong in putting those together to achieve real success in a range of projects.”

It sounds like a more comprehensive way of working?

“For me, designing a piece of furniture from start to finish can take two or three years. And it’s understanding the company properly, inside and out, and the relationship with the client that allows you to move quickly and produce successful products. 

“Since graduating from the Royal College of Arts in 1987 I think I’ve built up an understanding of what the clients need. So many production products, can take years to complete, not necessarily due to materials but due to the questions needed to be asked. If it’s an office/work space or restaurant it’s about what the space is, how it feels, who will be walking into that space, how is it used today and how will it be used in years to come. This is where our strengths lie.”

Finally, how do you see Leeds as a design hub right now?

“There is a pride in things up here, It has always had an association with individuality and personality, an independence, but I’d say it’s more now that it ever was. There are some things now that are coming through that show this, with workspaces and the crossover between leisure and workspace. Where we go from here- the whole office space, what we define as an office space.. Second Home in London is a great example of the future of work, culture and how we get together to do things, one of the directors Rohan Silva is a Yorkshireman.

“Unfortunately there are still too many shopping complexes being built, and the culture there needs to be greatly developed. But it is happening, and the city is standing on its own. For a while it was mostly Liverpool and Manchester that people thought of with discussions of the north but Leeds is very much there now too. A wholesomeness is beginning to happen, whether it’s happened by osmosis or something else it’s certainly beginning, which is good.”

Logan & Golden

  From our series: Design Talk with  Deltalight

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