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Case Studies

Central Saint Martins

University of Arts London


The new building at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, is a comparatively new site that has been morphing over the last few years to accommodate an ever increasing number of students. It has been exploring the maximum utilisation of space within the building, where space represents a valuable teaching resource. 

This projects’ objective was to find suitable, flexible and fitting furniture that could accommodate these changing and universal needs throughout the college.


It was decided that the nine bridges joining the East and West wings could be used as flexible extended student work areas over and above the teaching studio spaces.

Furniture designer Rock Galpin was commissioned with a brief to design a desk that in some way catered for the wear issues, whilst at the same time could be flat packed quickly to accommodate space for the student degree shows each year and also had to be economically priced. 

The main feature of the design is the use of a simple clamping mechanism which allows very economical, off-the-shelf boards with no fixings to be simply clamped to the table by the frame in situ. This very feature allows not only the table to collapse easily and efficiently to store but for both sides of the table top to be used giving twice the longevity of use. It is also possible for the desks to be supplied with a simple integrated cable management tray system for computer work places. 

Frem won the manufacturing contract over a number of highly regarded competitors as the new manufacturer for the existing design, and working closely with Rock Galpin, to produce 36 tables and 72 benches located on seven of the bridges and two of the studios throughout the University. 


“I am sitting at one of the balcony tables and think they are wonderful - simple but strangely ethereal in the half light. Everyone is commenting on them happily”  - Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martin’s and Pro Vice-Chancellor: University of the Arts London