Reed Smith
The merger of Reed Smith with Richards Butler in 2007 created the global law firm’s largest office, worldwide. Although the merger proved incredibly successful, the fact that operations were spread over two sites necessitated a move to a single building. And Uniting two geographically fragmented workforces became an imperative objective for the firm as was the opportunity to increase collaboration and teamwork and to promote improved communication among Reed Smith’s people, practices, industry groups and client service teams. The London headquarters were not only split between two buildings they were equally distant in terms of office fit-out specification. Reed Smith knew that bringing the two firms into one building would be the catalyst for changing attitudes and morale - cementing two diverse work cultures into one new flagship office. The Broadgate Tower was chosen for its location, views and quality of space. At 540ft and spread over 33 floors it is the 3rd tallest building in the City. Taking 12 floors and 160,000 sq ft Reed Smith commissioned Gensler to fulfil the workplace design brief. The 4 main goals developed with the client were to: • create a space that fostered relationships, both with external clients and internally to promote socialisation and collaboration • provide an inspiring, uplifting, open, bright space that showed staff that the firm valued them • build flexibility into the scheme so that the space could change as the business changes • build for a technologically sophisticated system that helps promote a reduction in reliance on paper. Gensler undertook an extensive data collection process to gather qualitative and quantitative data about the project requirements. Early visioning sessions as well as one-on-one interviews with key senior leadership in the firm identified clear project goals and aspirations. These were used as the benchmark for all future phases of the project. Gensler also undertook a detailed brief collection to understand the headcount, growth, storage, equipment and space requirements. The overall design scheme was to take cues from the existing building and turn the Broadgate Tower into the Reed Smith Tower by consistent use of the base build finishes through out Reed Smiths finishes, bringing of light and views into the space and providing amenity spaces to promote interaction and collaboration. The top two floors, Level 32 and 33, comprise of a conference centre with meeting rooms of various sizes and a range of AV capabilities for presentation and video conferencing. A large two storey atrium has been created for Reed Smiths main reception on the 32nd floor. An elaborate stairway has been created to join two disparate floors with a glowing lantern of back lit stone to guide people back to the main entrance. Level 31 is the Staff amenities floor, providing a multi-purpose restaurant space that is utilised not only at lunch, but for internal team meetings and people just escaping their desk for a quiet coffee. The furniture is removable and allows the space to be multi-purposed for internal presentations, town hall meetings, special functions and events. The practice area floors are characterised by private office at the perimeter and internal flex zone for other support spaces. The offices are designed with built in storage creating more space to allow and collaboration and team interaction. Healthy use of glass on office fronts and clearstoreys on cross walls creates light, bright open and airy environment. B2 highlight most important elements of the design including any innovations Flex Zones play an integral element to the design concept, providing flexible and innovative interior workspace solutions for the client. Split into Interior zones the flex zones are built on a 3m x 4.5 m module, each module contains the same light, heat and air conditioning , power and IT services . Gensler worked closely with the furniture provider to provide different furniture options for each module allowing the client to ‘plug and play’ from a variety of furniture solutions. Arming Reed Smith with a future proof workspace that enables the client to provide quick and cost effective changes to the office layout as business needs require. A comprehensive brand strategy was implemented throughout the scheme which was key to Reed Smiths brand strategy and design brief. Gensler design relates to the architectural language of the building making particular use of the distinctive diagonal bracing on the outside to compliment the interior elements. The net effect creates a feeling that the building is bespoke to Reed Smith. The finishes, manifestation, decorative elements, signage and other details including the crockery are all consistent with the brand strategy. B3 Show the finished interior using photos and sample swatches of the main chosen materials The Building has been a huge success in creating a unified workforce, galvanising the staff and thus creating positive moral as specified in the design brief. The staff are equally proud of the fact that Gensler were able to achieve a LEED-CI silver certification for the sustainable measures undertaken in the design and fit-out.


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