Quinn Emanuel were opening their first office in Sydney and wanted their new office to reference their roots in New York. The firm was established in 1986 and aimed to rebel against the traditional law firm model of lavish offices in prestigious buildings as they knew that is not what won cases.
These contributing factors influenced our design approach significantly. We drew on an understated aesthetic that provided the feel of New York loft. White washed bamboo flooring carried throughout the combined arrival and breakout area which helped to portray simplicity and transparency. Glazed walls were treated with black framing which contrasted the light floor and white walls. The framing technique that was applied to the glazed partitions eliminated the need for frosted film on meeting rooms and offices, so that the staff in both open plan spaces and offices felt connected and hierarchy was eliminated.
Open shelving lines the corridors, housing and showcasing collections of law books. These corridors lead occupants from the arrival and meeting room areas through to the open plan workspace, lawyer’s offices and library. Occasional furniture has been placed around the workspace to be used for informal meetings, and the columns have been finished in a writable surface so they become a functional surface.
One of the most exciting existing features of the space was the views over Hyde Park and Sydney Harbour. The neutral palette of materials used throughout the design is understated so that the focal point is beyond the interior space. This is reminiscent of an office in New York, but within an Australian context. To strengthen the skyline concept, a sketch style outline of Sydney CBD was carried through from the exterior windows to the back of the meeting room walls adjacent to the arrival/breakout to be enjoyed by all.
Acid green elements scattered through the workspace punch through the neutral pallet to add life to the space. The colour was directly derived from the corporate colour palette for Quinn Emanuel and is referenced in the wall graphic, upholstery fabric and core values framed on the wall.