Light, bright, colourful these are not words usually associated with law offices, but they do reflect the rationale behind this fit-out, which signals a change in culture.
When the Singapore office of Clifford Chance moved to new premises in the Marina Bay Financial Centre, the firm commissioned Space Matrix Design Consultants to design an office that would reinforce the firm's progressive, modern outlook.
Justin Young, Clifford Chance general manager, says the company had formerly worked over three nonconsecutive floors in a different building. Bringing staff together was a crucial part of the design brief.
"We wanted a more open, collaborative and flexible workplace," he says. "While we have corporate design guidelines, we were happy to push the boundaries on these the brief was very open."
Shagufta Anurag, Space Matrix founder and managing director, says the concept was all about connection connecting people, spaces and thought processes. The overall design of the office, on a single floor, was consequently based on a plus sign, with the services core at the centre.
"This provides four entry points to the office, including the main reception area," Anurag says. "Each of these four linked areas also takes the form of a plus sign, with collaborative, breakout areas situated at the intersection point, rather than on the outer edges of the office. This means staff enter directly into a cafe-style social space, where they can stop and say hello to fellow workers and get a coffee first thing in the morning."
To enhance the concept of connection, the design team created a much more transparent office, with glass rather than solid partitions.