Allion Legal’s innovative, no airs culture called for an environment that would provoke thinking differently, attract and retain talented, high calibre people brave enough to challenge the status quo, and innovate with purpose.
Determined to adopt new space solutions to meet changes and demands of the legal services sector, Allion wanted a timeless space that embraced proven solutions to increasing innovation and productivity. Allion engaged Geyer prior to making a selection on new accommodation to develop a workplace strategy. This engagement process provided an opportunity to inform and assist in the shortlisting and testing of various properties in alignment with the business objectives and associated design principles. Through rigorous investigation and dialogue with a key stakeholder group Geyer explored different planning approaches within different building footprints in parallel with commercial real estate considerations and associated project budgets.
The translation process that Geyer engaged Allion in, identified and documented a 50:50 split between people that wanted a total open plan environment and one that was fully partitioned offices. Ultimately Allion realised the significance of spaces to support focused work traditionally undertaken in large offices, and equally the importance to support a more dynamic proportion of spaces for engaging and meeting with people internally, clients, and peers.
The design is one that is sympathetic of the ability to focus changing the large footprint of a traditional office to a more efficient focus room and an appropriate proportion of support spaces to meet outside of this space. This approach afforded one third of the total net lettable area to be reimagined as part of a shared arrival experience and work café that could be shared both as an internal and external interface.
A significant departure from the traditional legal office was a shift to a concierge instead of a reception, creating a more hospitality orientated arrival experience to clearly articulate Allion’s brand as one that is inclusive and inviting. The area is a comfortable space open to both clients and staff use, with clients able to utilise Wi-Fi and hospitality beyond their formal meeting engagements, similar to that of an airport lounge.
The ultimate result is a design that was the same physical footprint as their current environment but capable of supporting 30% growth. As well as a dramatic increase in the proportion and diversity of support spaces from 0.7 support seats to every workpoint to achieve 2.5 support seats to every workpoint or a 350% increase.