Introducing high-end design through customized space optimization
Bennett Jones LLP
Bennett Jones LLP required a legal office design that reflected their local and international presence as well as their outstanding reputation as the only law firm in Canada ranked as a Top 50 Employer (2017).
Initially, we were engaged to conduct feasibility studies and test fits for the company in a variety of buildings. Ultimately, Bennett Jones chose to renovate their current space, rather than move to a new one. We were selected as the firm of choice based on our extensive experience in legal office design.
Occupying the top eight floors of a prestigious downtown Calgary office building (Banker’s Hall East). The new space would enhance the client experience by showcasing their extensive art collection and spectacular views of the cityscape. The new space would also enable employees to thrive in a sophisticated and collaborative work environment.
We were tasked to renovate the client’s outdated work environment, which had been constructed twenty-five years prior.
Complex coordination was required to accommodate phased construction within the occupied premises consisting of 160,000 square feet with limited swing-space, and to minimize disruption to the firm’s employees and clients over a 30-month timeframe.
The second challenge was to address an obsolete planning model in which client meeting rooms were dispersed across multiple floors was abandoned in favour of a new model which would consolidate all client meeting rooms onto a single reception/conference floor.
This project was an enjoyable process. Lawyers are such great clients because they understand the value of consulting. If you can provide a solid rationale for your recommendations, that’s the language they speak.”
Principal - Interior Design
Our workplace team began this renovation with design workshops and visioning sessions; tapping into our insatiable curiosity to explore what Bennett Jones really wanted from their new workplace. We worked closely with a diverse design committee representing the various practice areas of the business to build a cohesive, responsive design strategy.
We created a single reception and conference floor for all client interactions with guest services, retractable walls, and meeting rooms of multiple sizes for maximum flexibility. Two of the largest meeting rooms open to adjacent spaces through a series of double doors, making it possible to host daytime or evening events in pre-function areas.
A consistent planning footprint across the practice floors improves wayfinding, sharing of resources, and modularity to accommodate future changes.
To maintain interconnection amongst floors, the existing staircase needed updates to achieve building code compliance. The staircase was upgraded with new millwork shroud designed as a ‘ribbon of wood’ that extends the entire eight floor length, while a suspended custom glass chandelier provides a new focal point to support this upgraded aesthetic.
We simplified and refined the finish palette with honed materials, marble floors, dark wood paneling, and wool carpet tile. Access to technology, sophisticated audio-visual systems and lighting controls seamlessly integrate into meeting room architecture, furnishings, and offices.
The new office space continues to attract talent and clients, bolstering the law firm’s exceptional reputation and growing workforce. Using regional design approaches, this new workplace was truly customized for them in a local context.
Bennett Jones LLP was recently named as 2022’s Top 100 Employers for Young People.
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