Law firm Lane Neave has taken the opportunity to create a new way of working in their Christchurch offices. They've chosen to move away from the more traditional perception of professional services arrangements, for a more transparent and flexible workspace.
Located in one of Christchurch's most recently completed commercial developments, 141 Cambridge Terrace, the fitout has benefitted from both the new build and interior design being delivered by the same design practice. As the new-build was developed by a Jasmax base-build team, the Interior Designers on the project were able to input on the internal spatial arrangement.
The Law firm's office design was conceived with the premise of a ‘white collar factory’ and takes the form of an exploded box. Simple and rectangular, the building is open along its short edges and enclosed along its long edges. The glazed openings provide daylight and outlook, allowing a visual connection with Avon River to the east, and the Southern Alps to the west. Within the building two linear voids provide additional daylight, while also enhancing spatial drama, supporting vertical connectivity between floors and providing natural ventilation through the stack effect.
The project heralded a change from the traditional private office environment that law firms historically inhabit, to an open plan set up with break out rooms.
The need for change was demonstrated by Jasmax studies of work patterns which demonstrated high levels of collaboration amongst partners, and need for quiet focus space for mid-level staff.
The use of an exposed structural system, including an exposed concrete ‘Double T’ ceiling, provides a rich, textured space, enhanced through the use of planted green walls, texture concrete and exposed steel structure, minimised the need for additional layers of finishing, while also providing a thermal mass to improve the thermal performance of the building.
Additionally, the exposed low damage design structure consists of large muscular ‘K’ frames with large ring feeder springs at the base of each frame to provide energy dissipation in a seismic event. The interior fitout uses an elegant palette of oak, smoked glass, and neutral fabrics to create a boutique and den-like environment.