When a white-shoe law firm decided to relocate after 20 years in the same space, its executives wanted to experiment with such workplace innovations as open offices and coworking. But theirs is an industry steeped in tradition, with certain unavoidable needs. So the three-studio design team of SHoP Architects , K&Co. and Pliskin Architecture developed an environment that would be well-suited to
focused private work while also integrating shared amenity areas. Connecting the office functionally and visually is the eight-story diagonal atrium dubbed “the sleeve.” It’s the project’s predominant architectural element, surrounded by translucent panels of walnut and Muntz metal. A skylight at its apex allows natural light to penetrate from the client-facing conference rooms on the top floor all the way down to the practice floors below.
Crisscrossing the atrium are seven monumental staircases, each connecting work spaces to “social condenser” areas that are open to all employees as well as visitors. These include a game room, a mock courtroom, a coffee bar, and other amenities that provide places, away from heads-down work, where unexpected connections can be made. Another win? The project has been certified LEED Gold.
Project Team: Krista Ninivaggi; Erica Tong; Aaron Levy; Mary Kate Feldman; Micah McKelvey: (K&Co); Barak Pliskin; Ming Ming Lin; Samuel Warden-Hertz; Nishant Jacob; James Quick; Noa Baram; Margaret Zyro (Pliskin Architecture).