Slade Architecture was selected to design the New York office of Ashurst, a leading international law firm, in iconic Times Square. Ashurst is a truly global firm with 28 offices in 16 countries and 1,700 lawyers in total. Their philosophy is to offer work spaces that simultaneously reflect the locale of the specific office as well as the Ashurst global brand attributes of openness, egalitarian governance and innovative thinking. We translated this firm ethos into physical spaces by designing public lobby and conference spaces that intercommunicate with flexible transparent walls. These can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of programming from small meetings to large auditorium style gatherings. Furthermore, we reinterpreted the branding graphic of vertical lines and colors and allowed that vocabulary to inform all the central touch points for the office: the entry vestibule, the reception area, and lobby.
The intersection of floor, reception desk and wall is questioned with a material play on perspective that wraps swaths of color across the surfaces there. By exploiting perspectival phenomena,the different surfaces merge and separate when viewed from different positions. Breaking the scale down but maintaining the strategy of aggregating strips of color into fields, the wall covering at the lobby uses a multitude of headlines color coded by topic and organized chronologically—the perfect statement piece about print media for a law firm in Times Square.
Individual offices are simple and identical across levels of tenure with functional, elegant knoll workstations. Open lounge style areas are interspersed in the plan to enable loose exchange of ideas and collaboration.