Making your mark in the City can be a daunting task - especially if you’ve taken 12,000 sq ft in the Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street), one of London’s most iconic buildings. Global legal firm King & Wood Mallesons knew it wanted to have an East-meets-West London office, one which played homage to the Big Smoke without forgetting the company’s origins in the Far East. Read on to see how we met the brief with a subtle nod to the Orient…
View from the top
How do you create a standout office for a global law firm with over 2,000 lawyers in 27 locations around the world? Simple. You start with a building in an incredible location like the Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street)!
Recognised as one of the world’s most innovative law firms, King & Wood Mallesons wanted a high-end office to represent its brand, professional capabilities and global reach in an office with ‘wow factor’. Using the Walkie Talkie’s location and its views as our inspiration, we intentionally framed London’s skyline from the eleventh floor by keeping the perimeter of the office free from clutter. Horizontal lines in the marble flooring, overhead lighting, bespoke reception desk and detailing on internal walls lead your eyes outwards, towards the window and beyond.
Our design philosophy was inspired by five natural elements represented in the Chinese characters of the firm’s logo - water, fire, gold, earth and wood – as well as London, its newest chapter. If you know what to look for, you can see subtle nods to these throughout the space; the gold floor trim and joinery inlay, earthy red hues in the office artwork, potted plants and unobstructed views of London’s landmarks.
The design incorporates the corporate brand identity but also subtle Chinese styling, combining textures and materials reminiscent of the Far East. The firm’s directors who visited the project during construction were so impressed with our attention to detail, they even took their personalised PPE back to Hong Kong with them!
Spaces that work
In a law firm, maintaining client confidentiality is serious business. Working within the structural and mechanical constraints of the building, we had to design and build a number of equally-sized private offices and secondary meeting rooms.
Every office and meeting room has its own climate control panel so neighbours can work comfortably alongside each other in their own personal ‘home away from home’, suited to their preference. With the move to open plan offices, we don’t see this personalisation much anymore – it’s a great way to increase staff wellbeing!
We also designed ‘workwalls’ for each private office, installed to fit neatly into the dedicated workstation. These wouldn’t be complete without all the bells and whistles, including a wardrobe, storage, shelves, lighting and sit-stand desks.
King & Wood Mallesons needed a flexible space which could easily be altered to suit day-to-day activities, as well as client seminars and entertaining. As its first London office, the space will become a hub for international clients who have high expectations of the reputable firm.
We made sure reconfiguring the breakout area wasn’t back-breaking work – or unsightly! King Wood & Mallesons wanted to be able to clear the space for client entertaining with ease. We suggested a super-lightweight range of chairs with a stunning dip-dye fade that looks great when stacked. It’s almost a feature in its own right! These definitely aren’t your regular, boring classroom seats.
We installed office technology to make life a little bit easier. A room booking system for the meeting suite with scene setting, electric blinds, table-top power and data connectivity, AV with video conferencing functionality and automatic drop-down ceiling projectors. Goodbye, IT frustrations!
Blink and you’ll miss it
The more time we spent with King & Wood Malleson, the more we realised how detail-orientated their team is. We knew we had to focus on the small things to really impress.
Wood is a firm favourite material in interior design but it’s aesthetic can vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer. To ensure exact matches across the entire workspace from the boardroom table to the ceiling features, walls and doors, we ‘book matched’ each specified wooden element. Our team compared several stains for fixtures, fittings and furniture to ensure we found the identical tone for every piece of wood in the office!
The style and finish is first rate and has added significantly to our brand value as a top rate international law firm. We're absolutely delighted!
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