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Global Corporate Law Office

A Golden Triangle of Balance, Purpose, and Lightness

When picturing a prestigious, multinational law office, most imagine long, dark hallways, with closed office doors. Chances are, terms like “balance,” “purpose,” and “lightness” don’t immediately spring to mind.

That differentiation is precisely what makes our client’s office in San Diego’s Golden Triangle District all the more special.

With hybrid work becoming a norm, our client realized that they needed to shift and adapt their workstyles to keep up with talent expectations, all the while dealing with the challenge of bringing a second team into the space. Though it would be a steep challenge, the plan would benefit the firm, as well as their team. Consolidating both teams into a single office would cut down on overhead costs, while providing team members with further collaboration opportunities and idea exchanges. However, doing so would require extensive adjustments to the space, both to accommodate additional team members and to better reflect the vibrancy and atmosphere of San Diego.

Our working relationship with the firm goes back years, with our team assisting in the design of their Austin office, as well as a team member’s experience working on the previous design of the San Diego space. We were eager to help with the logistics of the three-floor redesign and help our client realize their potential.

Immediately, we set out to establish the client’s core branding elements to ensure that this new space still felt distinctly in line with the law firm’s other offices across the globe, while simultaneously representing the office’s bright and unique surroundings.

Collaboration, comfort, and a welcoming environment were our primary project drivers. It was critical that the space provided visitors with a professional first impression, showcasing the firm’s legacy in a way that could establish immediate trust. Likewise, our client wanted to provide team members and clients alike with social areas that felt welcoming and engaging, as the new Golden Triangle office needed to provide employees with experiences that a home office can’t replicate.

Our quest for “purpose” began with our reassessment of the reception area. In addition to plenty of seating for guests to enjoy while waiting, the space incorporates natural lighting and a beautiful view and plenty of added greenery, bringing the best of nature indoors. Meeting spaces next to the reception area offer clients and partners privacy, with sliding walls providing flex spaces should the client want to host events or parties.

Project Details

Square Footage: 67,000 sq ft. 

Location: San Diego

PDR Team

Amy Collins

Martha Keller

We wanted to extend a similar flexibility throughout the workspaces, beginning with modular offices that would allow the firm to scale as needed in the future. Modular planning maximizes square footage by accommodating new team members while ensuring that employees still have plenty of individual space for heads-down work. For those important meetings or collaboration sessions, teams can gather in one of the multiple conference rooms on each floor. The result is a blend of personalized and collaborative work areas better suited for the firm’s new hybrid work style.

The heart of the project is undoubtedly the new social hub, which seeks to erase the old ideas of what a break space should be and bring “balance” to the office by providing employees with a space specifically designed with their relaxation and comfort in mind. The entirety of the hub is designed in a way that encourages team members to foster connections with one another while incentivizing the team to spend time in the office. While each floor has its own pantry areas where employees can gather for quick coffee breaks, the social hub is where the client’s values come to life. Café-style tables, lounge seating, and comfortable couches offer a respite for employees, who can keep up with the latest news or sports games on the large screen television. To add an air of playfulness, the firm brought in a partner’s pool table, transforming one of the former meeting rooms into a makeshift pool hall that is directly accessible through the social hub.

The social hub has been so energizing and influential that a managing partner intentionally sought an office near it so they could be closer to the excitement.

To complete the redesign and personify “lightness,” each floor features a vibrant yet neutral color scheme, with earthy tones of wood and stone to complement the abundance of natural lighting and plant life throughout. Streaks of the client’s signature hue bring everything together, making the space feel uniform yet unique. These elements of branding, combined with hints of nature, give the space a relaxed, congenial atmosphere that both welcomes visitors and provides an ideal workspace for employees.

With three floors and three core values, it feels apt that our client’s space sits within The Golden Triangle, as triangles traditionally represent strength, stability, and harmony. Each element aligns with the objectives of purpose, balance, and lightness respectively in a way that elevates the employee experience while providing the perfect space to continue the firm’s global reach. 

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