- Article by Online Editor
GroupGSA + Artillery has designed a new office for Melbourne law firm Macpherson Kelley (MK) with a design that goes ‘beyond the ordinary’.
With a 113-year history in Melbourne and two offices, MK wanted to adapt the latest workplace ideas to a law office for its 100-staff Dandenong location.
MK’s brief was to create a highly innovative workspace to accommodate staff mobility across both offices, help them find a better way to perform tasks, attract and retain talent. While its budget was tight, MK also wanted to facilitate more effective meetings with and prompter service delivery for clients by connecting senior and junior lawyers more efficiently.
The law firm had commissioned Calder to undertake a strategic study to establish a workplace strategy for its Dandenong site, which highlighted project motivation and critical success factors.
These included: an adaptable space that could flex as the business evolved; the ability to support individual/concentrated and interactive/ collaborative work; smart, connected environments for knowledge creation and interaction; fostering a workplace culture and community around a shared vision; facilitating crowdsourcing and learning by osmosis; and enhancing wellbeing in the workplace.
GroupGSA + artillery’s inspired solution for the two-level site featured a deep floorplate and top floor skylight that addresses the need to encourage natural sunlight into the centre of the floor.
A client lounge and meeting area on the ground floor delivers a friendly, multifunctional space that promotes better relationship building and conversations. The structural challenges created by the skylight further led to eschewing private offices on level one for a mix of quiet and collaborative zones surrounding a uniquely designed internal garden area filled
with light. Sound absorbing materials ensure background noise is reduced for higher productivity.
Pivoting around the collaborative zone, the organic floor layout achieves a creative, fluid space complemented by customised workstations and screens that are distinctly un-corporate in design. Meeting spaces are also open plan and without hierarchy – a feature rarely seen in law offices.
The result is a workplace filled with non-hierarchical spaces, open collaboration between staff on level one and with clients on ground level and with Greenstar and Well best practice elements to enhance workplace comfort and wellbeing.
Principals now sit next to juniors fulfilling MK’s new business vision to strengthen mentorship and collaboration opportunities between staff. Since moving into their new offices, MK staff have reported improved efficiency and productivity, greater teamwork and collaborative opportunities, enhanced knowledge sharing and referrals across the practice and more enjoyment of the workplace.