Designers Forum: Fish & Richardson’s New Office Aims to Create a Comfortable Work Environment

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By Deborah Elliott

Fish & Richardson, a global intellectual property law firm founded in Boston in 1878, has represented some of the world’s greatest innovators. The firm played a pivotal role in patent litigation during the development of the light bulb, telephone, radio, automobile and steam engine and its early clients included Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. Over the following decades, he grew to more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in 14 offices in the United States, Europe and China and serves as trusted advisors to a wide range of clients, including startups. , multinational companies and academics and research institutions. Fish & Richardson’s enduring success is attributable to the company’s creative and inclusive culture, which values ​​a diversity of people, experiences and perspectives.

When the company planned to expand into a new office in Southern California, Fish & Richardson expressed a desire to show a determined relationship between the professional nature of the company and the welcoming and relaxed environment shared by employees. According to Roger Denning, General Manager of the office, “We want our office to be a place where our employees feel comfortable, at home and enjoy coming to work, and we want our customers to feel the same. “

The new office, which offers ample meeting space and multiple custom design features, occupies the entire top floor and half of the lower level of a building located in a new mixed-use development that includes office space. , retail stores, restaurants and luxury apartments, all in a pedestrianized and vibrant community.

As part of the design of the desk, ID Studios aimed to strike a balance between bold rectilinear shapes and hard surfaces to represent strength, and soft, round lines, warm woods and hard-wearing finishes to reflect the more relaxed side. of the company. The concept of “structured nature” shaped the team’s design decisions.

UNIQUE CHALLENGE
Butch Miller, project manager for Pacific Building Group, admits that building the stairs was “an adventure.”

The multiple glass panels on either side of the staircase, which run from the ground floor to the height of the railing on the top floor, weighed 500 pounds each and had to be brought in with a crane through an exterior window pulled out just to this task. Miller says, “Glass doesn’t bend. There were a lot of layout checks, rechecks, field checks with the designer to make sure we were heading in the right direction. Denning adds, “We really wanted to make sure the two floors feel connected rather than having two separate spaces. We are super excited [the stairs are] will really connect the floors to make it look like a big workspace.

FLEXIBLE AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN
Upon entering the suite, visitors walk on Terrazzo d’Arizona Tile, a large black porcelain tile, leading from the elevator to the lobby. Bentley Mills’ wide-width Repose in Routine defines the reception desk and helps soften the acoustics in the large open space.

The reception area has comfortable seating and a reception bar. Overhead is a series of curvilinear ‘waves’ illuminated in the double height ceiling, creating a gentle movement juxtaposed against the structure of the architecture. Beneath the feet is the Arizona Terrazzo Tile in white, punctuated with a soft custom blue rug reflecting the warm San Diego sky and showcasing the seating area adjacent to a spacious deck connected by a functional glass wall.

Unique break and coffee spaces on both floors feature different types of tables or seats. Spaces are each defined using two coordinating products of Shaw Contract-Terrain II wood-look luxury vinyl tile in Grove and Cut in Cacao. Traffic lanes are created with Terrain, while rest areas are laid out at the top of Cut. An acoustic underlay under the LVT helps minimize acoustic distraction.

A new staircase connecting these amenity spaces was an integral part of the design, necessitating a characteristic two-story custom-designed staircase. The cantilevered stair treads are welded to an architecturally stunning central steel beam enclosed in glass walls. The stair treads are encrusted with Shaw’s LVT Terrain II in Grove for a wood-look staircase that brings the warmth of wood against the strength of steel, but will stand up to heavy traffic.

The office space has several conference rooms, which have been designed for maximum flexibility. The Bentley Mills Ritual Rug in Routine brings rich blues and smooth movement to the floor, complementing the personalized art and vibrant wallcovering used in every conference room.

The larger conference room can be split into two equal conference spaces by lowering the functional Skyfold partition and can open directly into the lobby by folding up the NanaWall glass that surrounds the perimeter. When the NanaWall is closed, the Designtex Casper Cloaking Film, which was added by ID Studios, blocks all information on large format monitors from passers-by.

In a relaxing space within the conference room, a gentle curve in the design of the flooring allows for the strong contrast of the Terrazzo in White porcelain flooring from Arizona Tile with the Repose by Bentley Mills, creating a perfect space for working with a personalized live edge wooden table and monitoring access.

The main work areas of the office required careful coordination of custom ergonomic solutions and classic design. The desire to provide adjustable desks without sacrificing aesthetics was a primary goal for private offices.

The modern styling of Knoll’s Reff line, including its sit-stand desks, and the use of Bentley Mills’ Sure Bet mat in Ante on the floor suit the floor perfectly. The final design provided full height glass to define the private offices, paired with the warm walnut desks and neutral flooring to create spacious, clear and bright working environments to meet the needs of paralegals and lawyers, while the spaces open offices were able to take advantage of the light that crosses the glass walls.

UNEXPLORED TERRITORY
Covid-19 presented challenges for everyone last year, and this project was no different, Elliott says. Construction was largely completed while the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders were in place. She adds, “We are delighted that we were able to move forward with the original product selections and were able to receive all of the flooring products that we originally specified, which has not always been the case. been the case during the lockdown. The contractor, PBG, said he was diligent in ensuring a safe building environment throughout the construction process, adhering to and strictly enforcing the Covid-19 guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the County of San Diego. Ensuring that everything was completed on time and in compliance with safety guidelines was a challenge that the entire team worked diligently to overcome.

Copyright 2021 Floor Focus


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