When it comes to Law Office Planning & Design, real estate & design firm, Redesign Properties, understands that first impressions play a big part in standing out from the competition. We have extensive experience working with law offices and have developed strategic planning and design solutions that can be tailored to our clients needs. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are typically spent on the ‘High Design’ areas to create an image that is far superior to competitors; in a typical law office, the high design areas include the elevator lobby & entryway, reception desk & waiting area, & board room(s).
Example Law Office Floor Plan:
In the plan above, you can see that the ‘high design’ areas (indicated in blue) are strategically placed directly off the elevator lobby and you must pass through these areas to enter the administrative and support rooms (in light brown). In this case, the elevator lobby itself is incorporated in the high design area as the entire floor is occupied by a single tenant. As you can see in the plan, you can only access the administrative and support areas of the office through the high design areas. (Note: the ambient lighting elements are indicated in yellow and the corridors are in white for easy reference). Redesign actually developed a Single Floor Law Firm Occupancy Study comparing 8 Class A office building in downtown Los Angeles. This study outlined how a single floor Law Firm could maximize the floor plate of each building (a very tedious project but also very effective in creating an office program and negotiating a lease). Please refer to our Occupancy Study resource page for more information.
Elevator Lobby, Reception Desk, & Waiting Area:
The elevator lobby and entryway to your office will depend a lot on the amount of space you have leased in the building. If your law firm leases a full floor in a building, you will most likely have an exclusive elevator lobby. If your law firm leases a portion of the floor, you will most likely share the elevator lobby and your office entry will be off of a common corridor. For discussion purposes, this article refers to a full floor tenant. When negotiating the lease on a full floor in a class A office building, it’s ideal to negotiate the option of designing the elevator lobby that leads directly to your receptionist and waiting area. This is important, as it’s the first thing your clients will see when exiting the elevator cab (Note: when space planning your office you should locate the reception desk on the side of the elevator lobby that has the best view). As you can see in the photos above, many architectural features and finishes have been incorporated to achieve a high-design look and feel. The reception desk and waiting area are also extremely important in making a memorable first impression. We strongly urge our clients (if budget allows) utilize our design team to create a custom reception desk, in lieu of purchasing a furniture piece. We work with custom millworkers to build a desk that will give you a customized wow factor upon entering. The waiting area should be inviting, comfortable and reflect an elevated design sense to show the power of the firm.
Main Conference Room & Ceiling Elements:
It’s very important that the largest conference room (also referred to as the boardroom) be visible from the reception waiting area and be provided with a view. This will give your law office an intimidating look. There is a lot of thought that goes into the conference room elements (conference table, chairs, custom millwork storage, a/v equipment, lighting, ceiling elements, motorized window treatments, frameless glass partitions, entrance doors, flooring, etc.) It’s best that a professional is consulted to handle the design and construction management. The above conference table and credenza were designed and custom built by a millworker. If budget allows, this is the route to go (but there are also cost affective ways to achieve a similar look).
Ceiling elements are another key design aspect that you will want to put some considerable thought into. As you can see in the photos above, all ceiling elements are aligned with other architectural elements to establish a sense of purpose. When ceiling elements are placed in arbitrary locations your eye tends to catch this when scanning the room. Next time you are in an office space pay close attention to the layout of the ceiling. When items like exit signs, lights, sprinkler heads, HVAC diffusers, speakers, etc. are not strategically placed, it gives the space a sense of an unorganized design.
Apart from the discussed ‘high design’ areas, the administrative areas will also take strategic planning and investment. Depending on the budget for your law office design, you will either custom build the workstations for the administrative support personal or purchase pre-manufactured workstations and files. The above photos indicate custom millwork workstations and files. At Redesign Properties, a common ratio of 1 to 3 is used to determine the amount of assistant stations (one assistant station per three private offices).
In close, when choosing finishes, furnishings, and construction materials the high design areas should absorb a healthy portion of the construction budget. Essentially, it doesn’t matter whether you’re working with 5,000 square feet or 50,000 square feet of space; if you chose the right building footprint you can mask the overall size of your law office to appear as large and powerful as you would like. This is an important point to consider as this whole process starts with choosing the correct commercial real estate broker if you are relocating. Redesign has developed a 5 Phase Office Leasing Delivery Method that is extremely efficient and drastically reduces the chances of our clients encountering unpleasant scenarios once engaged in the office leasing and/or office design processes.
Whether you are a company that is considering an office move or considering reworking your existing office, we are here to help. Regardless of your office size or project budget, our delivery method can be scaled to fit any sized footprint, in any city, and in any state. We have worked with offices of all shapes and sizes and as your liaison, we manage all aspects of these complex processes by acting as the single point of contact for all participating agents. We love talking and strategizing office space; if you would like to discuss your organization’s goals, please email us at email@example.com or call us at (310) 734-7232.