Once home to cabinet makers’ workshops, Bethnal Green’s Durham Yard complex is a fin de siècle industrial building at the heart of the Old Bethnal Green Road Conservation Area. It’s also the location of the Russian For Fish studio. To accommodate our growing team and four smaller practices, we secured a new 70 sq m dual-aspect unit in the complex and reinvented it as a practical and versatile workplace, an environment that nurtures collaboration, and a material testing ground for our other projects. With designer Gavin Coyle, we developed a material palette of beech and oiled Valchromat fibreboard, which allows for diverse aesthetic effects, and a bright colour scheme of brilliant white and mid-grey. Used for cupboard fronts, bookshelves, desktops and display shelves, the charcoal Valchromat creates a visual thread that draws the eye through the space, while the solid, pale pink beech of Coyle’s tapered table legs provides a tonal contrast. Cupboard doors are fitted with Russian For Fish’s signature ironmongery, and the top of the central meeting table is produced from the lids and labels of recycled yoghurt pots, care of Smile Plastics.