Office DesignModern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office – Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Project: Modern Law Flexible Office
Studio: Studio Reaktor
Author: Jakub Heidler, Jan Kačer
Co-author: Marek Svoboda, Petr Mandík, Pavlína Mojská, Maria Lucia Cicero
Project location: Karolinská 707/7, 186 00 Prague 8 – Karlín, Czech Republic
Completion year 2021
Usable Floor Area: 1150 m2
Photographer: Studio Flusser (www.studioflusser.com)

Can we take the DNA of a successful law firm and transform it into a modern, open and airy space? How do we combine teamwork with complicated or discreet meetings? Our solution reflects the dynamic and flexible nature of the contemporary world.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

We turned the old cliche, that barrister’s chambers have to have high pile carpets, leather club chairs and an understated lobby, on its head. We drew our inspiration from the client’s work and from its key output – a contract. In our case a contract with design. A contract with a refined space for lawyers, who need focus rooms and teamwork spaces and who often work from home, but need frequent access to modern technology, which is mostly cloud-based.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

A Deal With Design

Since entering the Czech Republic in 1992, Allen & Overy have built an excellent reputation. The Prague office is now fully integrated into their international network consisting of 44 offices worldwide. Today, legal practice is often one part of complex consulting services offered to startup projects, big acquisitions or small IT revolutions. Our client even made the unconventional decision to forgo the “premium” central Prague address.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

We defined four key points in our contract with design. First, the international and the local know-how of the company come together in the Cloud. Second, all of us embark on a journey each day – to work, into the pages of documents, to complicated processes. Third, law means structure to us – sections, clauses, and items have inner logic, complementing and conditioning each other. And finally there is a signature, a bright light at the end of the journey, the fourth point of our joint contract.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Another important inspiration for us was the process of fine-tuning a contract, where precise wording is absolutely necessary. Highlighter pens and post-it notes are often used during contract drafting for easy orientation. Both these elements influenced the design.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Spatial and programmatic relationships were also relevant: in everything from silent and focus rooms to common areas or client spaces. The primary visual axis crosses the lobby and offers views to the outside. Two secondary axes, perpendicular to the first, define two corridors. Their sightlines lead to open spaces with views to the surrounding cityscape. Corners as meeting spaces were also very important. In the middle of the offices, around the vertical circulation core, we placed the Cloud.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

The design uses hierarchy and zoning of space. It’s defined from two sides, by the Cloud and the metal file cabinets. The journey opens up into the corners, puts on the bars and the receptions. The offices, meeting rooms and relax rooms form a layer placed between the file cabinets and the façade.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Office Zones

The interior zoning concept is reflected on the building façade. The client occupies two floors of the building. Perpendicular lines divide the office layer, with partitions inserted between the façade and the file cabinets. Desks placed against the partition walls are then flush with the metal cabinets. A private library, a cluster of meeting rooms, a terrace and an open office space take up the four corners of the floorplan. The intermediate parts in this layer are assigned to individual offices. And what about the post-it notes? We used them according to their original purpose – for the orientation system, leading the way to individual people’s rooms.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Signed

The sharp-stroked signature at the bottom of our contract with Allen & Overy is shining. It’s transformed into linear lighting fixtures weaving through the whole interior. These original lights of bent red profiles became our own signature – we struck a deal with design and these lights are our shining signature. Red floor lamps used in other parts of the interior complement the linear ceiling lights.

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

The propound that the symbolism of high pile carpets and expensive fountain pens doesn’t match legal services anymore. Negotiation, education, understanding and individuality are much more appropriate. And that’s why Allen & Overy chambers have a library, a relax room and a café bar…

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Materials
exposed concrete – columns
burnt and etched brass – main bar counters, reception desk
perforated steel – central Cloud surface, file cabinets
oak scantlings, panelling – significant entrances
acoustic roll – meeting rooms walls
sheet metal, varnished – file cabinets

Products and Brands
Cosm chair — Herman Miller
Ray chair — Brunner
Linear light — Halla
Ray Flex table — Brunner
Copa bar stool — Viccarbe
Torri sofa — Minotti
Copa chair — Viccarbe
Barka armchair — Egoé
EchoBoard acoustic boards — Echojazz
Wood framed glass partition — Woodyglass

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

Modern Law Flexible Office - Allen & Overy by Studio Reaktor

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