Urchin Cabinet by Jake Phipps

Jake Phipps have been shortlisted for Bespoke Cabinetry/Installation in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020.

The bilateral symmetry of an urchin shell provided a creative influence as well as a technical one for this large wall-mounted cabinet. The seventy polished panels on the doors are curved and faceted to create fragmented reflections of the users environment. These panels array around a central convex mirror that creates a similarly distorted yet crisper and cleaner view that entices the users eye inwards.

The cabinets precision engineered opening and closing mechanism uses no electrical motors, but is in fact operated entirely and effortlessly by the user alone. By pushing a discreet key latch that pops the central mirror outwards, the user then simply pulls the central mirror downwards to a 90° angle revealing a polished marble work-surface on its reversed side, and a luxurious wooden interior.

Furthermore, Jake Phipps cites the the unique horizontal movement of the doors and their discreetly hidden mechanics that are operated solely by the users actions and with no electrical input as his favourite aspect of the project.


The cabinet contains a central shelf with mirrored backed walls to bring light to the working area of the cabinet. Top and bottom sections each offer four further adjustable shelves made of toughened glass. Two discreet storage drawers sit within the doors and open on push catches.

With its atypical form and function it operates as both a beautiful wall hanging sculpture, a technically innovative engineering solution, and as a highly practical piece of furniture.


Precision engineering was involved alongside incorporating gear trains, springs and weighted pivots which made it a project more at home with a mechanical engineer than a cabinetmaker.

This cabinet is made by hand and to order. There is minimal waste from material usage and the majority of the process used in its construction are environmentally friendly.

Jake Phipps

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