Drop-front desks, also called fall-front desks, make a lot of sense in small spaces; you don't always want to look at your work, and they take up less space than a conventional desk. Mocoloco points to the Falling Densu desk designed by Joseph Walsh Studio.
Before people had file cabinets the desks would often have lots of slots and drawers to put papers and pens in; the front would lift up and lock to keep the servants from peeking.
I love the way this has been designed to hug the old Hasselblad.
When closed, the jog on top holds the books upright and exposes the rough finish. The one problem with this design that I can see (I worked on furniture like this a decade ago with Julia West Home) Is that the pivot hinge is installed a few inches from the bottom, so that when the desk pulls down it feels solid and you don't have a seam in the middle of your work surface. Unfortunately, if you have a notebook computer, it might not fit inside for storage, the fixed shelf at the back isn't that deep. You have to stick it up in the deeper slots up top. However it is a lovely, minimalist design and that is a minor cavil. I have no idea of cost; More at Yatser