When the lawyers at K&L Gates opted to make the 3,500-square-foot ground level of the firm's office a showpiece for downtown Pittsburgh, Interior Design Hall of Fame member Debra Lehman-Smith was thrilled.
Deborah Wilk -- Interior Design, 3/1/2011 4:25:00 PM
On a certain level, designers can only be as good as the person who hires them. So when the lawyers at K&L Gates, a longtime client of Lehman Smith McLeish, opted to make the 3,500-square-foot ground level of the firm's office a showpiece for downtown Pittsburgh, Interior Design Hall of Fame member Debra Lehman-Smith was thrilled. "It's not often that we get to make this kind of difference," she says. "Because we were able to incorporate commissioned works by a renowned artist, we not only invigorated the lobby interior but also connected with the urban environment outside the windows."
K&L Gates's building stands in a reemerging neighborhood on the edge of the cultural-arts district, where foot traffic is on the rise. To draw passersby into the front plaza, perhaps even into the floor-through lobby, Lehman-Smith installed five bright white fluorescent-tube columns by multimedia artist Cerith Wyn Evans. "This is private money creating public art. It's a giant beacon on the avenue," she adds. The same artist's neon wall sculpture, shaped like a double Möbius strip, hangs behind the reception desk where official visitors have to stop if they wish to examine the extensive corporate art collection upstairs.