International architecture firm HOK’s new law office for Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP in downtown Vancouver embraces the collaborative workspace.
Occupying the top four floors of a high-rise along the city’s waterfront, the 4803-square-metre office is animated with open-concept workrooms and top-notch furnishings.
The pre-existing circular staircase is the showstopper, serving as the spinal chord that connects all four levels. The winding stairway provides an interesting transition for employees and clients moving through the building – from the reception and meeting rooms on the top floor down to the relaxed café and outdoor patio. Its structure also allows for more candid communication between the various areas of the practice, as it avoids becoming a maze of carded security doors.
Another highlight includes a library that wraps around the staircase and is spread out over two floors. Glass-walled meeting rooms and the reception area offer clear views of the waterfront below.
The architects worked closely with FMC LLP to select the furnishings. The staff provided recommendations on mock-ups of the offices and workstation configurations and also played a significant role in choosing the chairs – lawyers and support staff sat in each chair for two days before picking the one.
The offices are outfitted with Haworth’s Master and Compose desk and storage system along with Herman Miller’s Aeron work chair. The offices also feature the Embellish carpet tiles in Etched Metal by Shaw Contract Group, which are 100 per cent recyclable and made of nearly 50 per cent of recycled materials. In the conference room, Herman Miller’s Eames Aluminum Group chairs (choosen for their comfort) surround Bernhardt Design’s Trace conference table, while the carpeting is provided by L.A.’s Bentley Prince Street. HOK furnished the cafe with Ross Lovegrove’s Orbit stacking chair in white and Keilhauer‘s EOOS-designed Branden sofa provides a more laid back lunch spot in the lounge area.