Finlaysons Workplace Strategy and Design
- Finlaysons Lawyers
- Adelaide, South Australia
- Split mix of open plan workstations and private offices. Multi-functional boardroom and varying collaborative break out spaces.
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Finlaysons operated from their previous premises for 30 years. This relocation represents a shift in future-focussed strategic and cultural direction while respecting an enviable legal heritage.
- Respecting the context of the location, building and new sectors of legal work,
- Applying a domestic overlay in support of high focus, generally confidential, often pressured work over long hours,
- Providing a safe, secure and welcoming environment for clients,
- Building on a strong brand and reputation for excellence in legal training.
Hames Sharley worked with Finlaysons to understand the exact tasks important to its future success and identify the spaces needed to support those. While there remains a necessity for individual high focus workspace, this was generally pulled away from facades to democratise access to daylight and views.
The need for focus has been delicately balanced against the desire for improved collaboration – seen as a catalyst for cultural change. That desire led to the mix of alternative spaces organised as nodes throughout the floorplan to encourage movement, interaction, and knowledge sharing. These include a large, playful destination kitchen breakout space, a series of relatively intimate open meeting areas, a knowledge centre and the more formal client suite. They support the reduction in offices and the increase in open-plan workstations and are all united by a design concept informed by South Australian landscape and an overriding aesthetic of ‘home.’
The concept of ‘home’ is a functional response to the needs of both clients and staff using warm colours, abundant planting, natural materials and feature lighting to provide an atmosphere of welcome and support. Profiled wall panels in feature areas complement the striking facades of the base building.
The project team included Services and Acoustic engineers, Certifier and Cost Consultants. The tight collaboration with Elevation’s graphic designers is a differentiator in this sophisticated scheme; injecting new corporate colours, integrating the history of Finlaysons and heightening the atmosphere of domesticity through large scale bespoke artwork. The greatest contribution came from Finlaysons themselves with an entirely engaged partner group that openly discussed their challenges and strengths.
The arrival sequence, client suite, collaboration areas and kitchen were prioritised as high quality areas with elegant finishes. By compromise, there are areas of well-executed standard finishes – balancing to a surprisingly low budget.
Selecting U City with its environmental credentials demonstrates Finlaysons commitment to sustainability. The fit-out reinforced this through maximising daylight penetration, tuning HVAC systems and selecting responsible materials and equipment throughout.
The domestic environment, the democratisation of space, sensitive zoning, deep respect for client experience and the dramatic increase in collaborative settings has resulted in a cultural shift, greater productivity and broader employee engagement. The result is a new beginning for an established firm that is; technology-driven and multi-skilled, in an ever-changing legal landscape.
Hames Sharley’s design methodology included engagement with our entire partner group and numerous staff to understand our business needs, how we operate now, and how we intend to work in the future. The design process was thorough and consultative. The final fit-out is excellent and is well received by clients and staff alike. Our team has embraced the new environment and enjoys the new spaces designed to encourage greater interaction and collaboration.