Clyde & Co is a global law firm providing a complete service to clients in its core sectors of insurance, transport, energy, infrastructure, and trade & commodities. The Vancouver office opened in 2021 and is vital to Clyde & Co’s global practice, providing a solid regional focus for local and international clients. The firm has grown significantly in recent years through the addition of new lawyers and its merger with local firm SHK Law Corporation. Due to its growth, Clyde & Co felt it was time to restructure and redesign the workplace, creating a fresh perspective on the existing space.
Clyde and Co, a growing legal services law firm, aimed to transform its workspace to support its expansion. With an antiquated legal design trend favouring large private offices, the organization struggled to accommodate new staff efficiently. The overly large offices occupied valuable space that could be better served for other uses. Research and space utilization revealed that the current square footage was more than ample, yet it remained underutilized. As a result, the firm recognized the need to minimize the collective footprint of lawyer’s offices, thereby liberating space for more productive usage to support staff and facilitate future growth.
Amidst the rising wave of workplace health and wellness, many businesses proactively reshape their environment to prioritize people. Clyde & Co envisioned an intentional workplace that honoured the end-users by offering a working atmosphere with a healthy balance, supporting professional and personal well-being. The previous design fell short in terms of incorporating wellness initiatives, making it difficult for staff to feel engaged and productive. A lack of natural light made the office feel gloomy—similarly, a limited biophilic presence added to the sombre atmosphere. Tasked with the challenge, designers were determined to infuse the space with vitality, integrating new elements and features to enhance employee health and overall well-being.
The Design Solution
Clyde and Co reached out to Aura because of our ability to create functional and engaging workspaces. Through extensive research, programming, and visioning sessions, designers developed solutions that helped Clyde and Co create a balanced workplace that considers its function and people. The space features 27 offices on the perimeter, with workstations and bookable office spaces in the interior, two large boardrooms, a remodelled lunchroom, and a newly integrated phone room. A natural colour palette featuring different shades of grey and subtle integrations of the brand’s teal colour provides an elegant, sleek, cohesive interior.
The reception and client lounge area sets the tone of trust and professionalism. The materials and curved geometry offer a soothing and organic feel, making clients comfortable entering the office. Muted colours, natural elements, and biophilia provide a warm and welcoming space.
Large private offices have been standardized and downsized to maximize usable space and increase the number of offices and support staff workstations. Furthermore, adding new offices, reconfiguring open offices, and integrating existing and unique storage solutions provide better workflow and environment for everyone in the space. Ergonomics plays a critical role in the new office space. Changes such as better lighting, brighter colours, and open and engaging spaces provide a more comfortable and functional workplace. Glazing on the glass allows light to shine into the office while allowing privacy. Additionally, workstations are optimized with height-adjustable desks providing staff with comfort as they work throughout the day. Biophilia is incorporated in pockets within the space to integrate nature within the design.
Nurturing Team Spirit
The newly revamped lunchroom is a vibrant focal point within the office. The previous space had a dim atmosphere and was due for a much-needed transformation. Designers redesigned the lunchroom, opening it up and giving it a fresh look that invites employees to interact and forge connections. Recognizing Clyde & Co’s affinity for celebrations and worker gatherings, the new lunchroom aims to cultivate an environment that nurtures team spirit and a sense of care, engagement, and belongingness. An exciting addition to the space is the integration of a phone room, a departure from the prior library that occupied the room. Designers repurposed the area, transforming it into a conversation space where staff can engage in private and semi-private conversations with clients.
The overall design strategy for the workplace is “The beauty and order of balance.” The new space balances between then and now, professional and personal, natural and man-made. The space’s minimal, elegant, and consistent feeling makes staff and clients feel at ease. Subtle design details such as tambour wood panelling and soft lighting provide the comforts of home to an upscale office space. The final result supports the law firm’s cultural demands, corporate growth ambitions, and staff’s sense of belonging and community.
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