Gowlings WLG LLP: ARIDO project of the year, award winning law office design

Gowlings WLG LLP

Year Completed

2015

Client

Gowlings WLG LLP

Location

Calgary, AB

Size

80,000 SF

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/01

/01

Eliminating the traditional law firm aesthetic

As a leading international law firm, Gowling WLG LLP has over 1,500 employees around the world. Accommodating a growing team, Gowling WLG LLP moved their Calgary office to a new building in the downtown core and expanded their workplace to four floors in the TD Canada Trust Tower.

The new space gave the firm an opportunity to enhance their client experience, eliminate the stiff traditional law firm aesthetic, and optimize their environment to reflect the changing legal profession.

We had an existing long-term relationship with the client, and were selected to work on a complete renovation of their new space. They wanted a clean modern aesthetic to showcase the progressive culture of the firm. The design included a new reception area, conference centre, e-discovery, and training rooms.

/02

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Democratizing the legal workplace

The team at Gowling WLG LLP were seeking to democratize several aspects of their firm. They were changing the way they approached the workplace, and this renovation allowed them to create a space that was professional, welcoming and visually distinct from other law firms.

We worked to address the obsolete planning model of meeting rooms across multiples floors, and found solutions to inspire collaboration, maximize engagement, and eliminate the perception of ‘hierarchy’ commonly found at traditional firms.

It was an amazing experience working with Shawna and her team at Gowlings. This was a career defining project for me but most importantly, Gowlings to this day is still proud to showcase the environment we created together.”

Doug Niwa

Principal - Interior Design

/03

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Collaborating to innovate the traditional legal workplace

Our workplace team began this renovation with design workshops and visioning sessions; tapping into our insatiable curiosity to explore what Gowlings WLG LLP really wanted from their new workplace. We collaborated closely with a tight design committee to build a cohesive, responsive design strategy that truly reflected their business goals.

/04

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Finding a balance between timelessness and originality

We consolidated all meeting rooms in one area to create a more tailored client experience. This area incorporated moveable modular wall systems such as sliding glass panels, which allowed the space to transform to accommodate a large variety of groups for both daytime and evening functions.

The practice floors have a consistent footprint that facilitates wayfinding. The perimeter of each of the three floors is lined with consistently designed universally-sized offices for all lawyers.

Our client wanted to eliminate the traditional ‘Lawyers Only’ lounge and opted for an inclusive staff lounge which provides a more integrative and collaborative team approach.

Our experience working with Kasian is one we will never forget. Seven years later we still love our design and are complemented often from visitors to our space. It was a project that was collaborative and super fun to work on with Kasian… We would not hesitate to work with Kasian in the future.”

Shawna Campbell

General Manager, Gowling WLG LLP

/05

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Establishing a progressive and resilient workplace

This project’s reinvention of their physical brand has repositioned Gowling WLG LLP as a prominent, innovative law firm through a timeless and resilient workplace. The project confirms them as an employer of choice, attracting and retaining top talent and high calibre clientele.

This project has won a number of awards including the International Design Awards: 2016, Bronze; ARIDO Award of Project of the Year, 2014; and ARIDO Award of Excellence, 2014.

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