BDP Gresse Street Offices 1980s

London, united kingdom

BDP through the ages

Building Design Partnership (BDP) is a collaborative, multidisciplinary design practice. Founded in 1961, it has grown to become a truly global practice and one of the most successful and inspiring design consultancies in the world. For decades BDP has been intertwined with the USM Haller system, an early adopter since the 1970s.

BDP Gresse Street Offices 1980s

BDP Gresse Street Offices 1980s

BDP Gresse Street Offices 1980s

USM talked to Mark Simpson, Principal of BDP about why USM resonates with the design practice.

"You might say as a company, we have almost as much Haller as USM"

- Mark Simpson

BDP, which is synonymous with collaborative, multidisciplinary working, has been specifying USM Haller for almost as long as the revolutionary storage system has been in existence.


Simpson, who joined the company in 1985 describes how the establishment of the Interior Design Unit in 1973 by the ‘Fab Five’ of Iris Dunbar, Rodney Cooper, John Barker, John Pinder and Pavel Jezek, was a pivotal part of the practice’s evolution. Even back then, USM Haller was being specified for projects, as well as finding a home in BDP’s headquarters, then located in central London. Simpson talks of how, “we had USM Haller and tables – they said back then if USM made drawing boards, we would have had those too.” The USM Haller system later made the move to Clerkenwell when BDP switched locations twenty years ago.

"We’ve long appreciated its adaptability and flexibility."

BDP Gresse Street Offices 1990s

USM Haller can be found in BDP’s ‘Hub’ entrance area at its Brewhouse Yard HQ and in the studios on the floors above. There, it is put to a variety of uses from storage to room dividers. “We’ve built quite a tall standing system whereby monitors can be attached,” Simpson explains.

"There's even USM Haller on the 'secret floor' where our parliamentary work is done."

As well as in its London HQ, where 450 people work, USM Haller can also be found in BDP’s Bristol office. Simpson even has a USM Haller system at home, for his burgeoning vinyl collection and he’s not the only one – over video calls during the pandemic it became apparent that many BDP colleagues are also appreciative of the innovative modular furniture system. Whether in a home or an office, USM Haller can be continually adapted and rethought to fit new working arrangements. Thanks to the modular nature of the product (it is designed to be forever reconfigured) BDP has continued to make use of the USM Haller over the last five decades.


"All things considered, there’s a good deal of commonality between BDP and USM from,their mutual ability to adapt sustainably", Simpson explains. “We specialise in designing incredible intelligent environments for people.”

"I’m very much a believer in the loose fit, long life approach to buildings: creating spaces that can change over time according to user needs. Both BDP and USM recognise the importance of good design."

BDP Brewhouse Yard Offices 2003 - Present

BDP Brewhouse Yard Offices 2003 - Present

BDP Brewhouse Yard Offices 2003 - Present

Sustainable Design

During its lifespan, USM can be redefined again and again – this makes

USM a valued, consistent companion for life, and generations.

Learn more about the circularity of USM here!



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