Boies Schiller Flexner, Washington DC
Investigation and Re-imagining of desking and workflows opening up and closed building and typology just off The National Mall.
Boies Schiller Flexner is a premier global litigation firm with offices across the US and in the UK. Established in 1997 the had a series of legacy office spaces in Northwest, Washington on disconnected floors which they had taken over as needed due to booming growth. They approached us with a critical mission: bring them downtown, design a cohesive workplace that united the attorney’s visually and benefited their communication and workflows.
Instead of accepting inherited wisdom about legal workspaces we worked in our clients offices to study, analysis and measure both the physical and digital employee workflows and processes. The upfront strategy work resulted in desking styles new to the firm, enhanced collaboration spaces, new social spaces and a new open office style platform.
The client’s vision for an open yet protected work environment begins in the reception space. A custom manufactured three story aluminum wall unites the three office floors together in distinctive fashion. Upon initial view from the entry the firm’s new distinctive logo (designed by Schiller Projects) pops out. As one walks along the wall, across a bridge, the signage subtly disappears and it opens up to allow views deeper into the work space. From the middle of the bridge a visitor can see all the way across the entire floor plate and take in the breadth of the office as well as an entire Washington DC city-block. This approach has brings abundant light to even the deepest parts of the floor and makes the entire DC BSF family feel connected.
Office Experience and Ergonomics
As one moves through the space key views open up where a visitor can see the entire breadth of the office floor and city views beyond. These views are segmented with glass, porous metal and hanging textiles. Visually connected but acoustically separated. Historically DC office buildings suffer from low ceiling heights so here we designed a custom metal mesh ceiling and lit the space above it to softly glow. As you walk underneath it the ceiling transforms from opaque to open and back. The shifting light above elevates a person’s sense of height and intrigue.
All Photos By Judy Davis, Hochlander Davis