NEW YORK CITY - Cross a wood paneled cubicle with a movable vault filing storage shelving and you get these remarkable collapsible workstations. The custom-built cabinetry - the cibicles are finished in carbonized bamboo - rides on off-the-shelf hardware for hand-cranked filing storage vaults.

Designed by architects Taylor Miller Architecture & Urban Design for Environmental Grantmakers Assocation, not-for-profit organization in Manhattan, that needed office space to be flexible for a workforce that fluctuated in size.

Taylor and Miller used the mechanics of an existing collapsible filing system, which allows partitions for up to seven workstations to be fully unfolded. When completely collapsed, an open space is created in the office - in the case of this installation, a 1,000 square foot space. Here's how they describe it:

At a detail level, when occupying the space between two partitions, one can see that the inward faces of each has been excavated with the same shape. In other words, what is a storage box protruding on one side is a recessed storage cubby hole on the other. In this manner, the partitions are bound together spatially; the relationship between them becoming stronger and stronger as they are compressed together... until finally they are collapsed completely concealing the carved space within.

Workers sit back to back in the opposing office cubicles, which when open, mirror each other in reverse: a hanging storage file on one side fits into a recess on the other.

The project won an award in the Architizer competition for interior office spaces.

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