Office design and build for law firm with personality

We love big ambitions so when Mills & Reeve told us they wanted to be the law firm of choice for tech and creative industries, we jumped at the opportunity to design and build an office to give a competitive edge with a new collaborative and agile workplace. This new office, in Manchester’s Circle Square mixed-use development, shows the company’s big heart and inclusive culture, providing great facilities for employees and a fun place to work.

Project partners

  • Rider Levett Bucknall UK Ltd
  • Bruntwood
  • London Building Control

Project description

Our brief was so much more than a list of checkboxes: the people-focused culture of Mills & Reeve is evident in every detail, big and small. This is no ordinary law firm so we were inspired to create a destination office that would delight employees and ‘wow’ tech and creative clients.

Gone are the stuffy corporate stereotypes of a lawyer’s typical workspace, this office is filled with funky furniture, trendy prints, patterns and textures, exposed ceilings and biophilic touches, as well as unique lighting, including a chic chandelier of fiber-optic ‘strands’.

New ways of working

This 15,000 sq ft office was designed and built on one level, bringing together all 100 employees onto one floorplate for the first time. Greater levels of collaboration and better wayfinding are obvious advantages of moving to a single open plan workspace; however, we also used the change to introduce new technology and shake up ways of working.

With everyone sharing the same space, it’s important to ensure Mills & Reeve employees still feel they have access to the same quality and variety of working areas. We combined formal and informal zones to accommodate collaboration, concentration and everything in between.

Around the light-filled cafe and kitchen, you’ll find long tables, booths and soft benches for brainstorming, team working or even just spontaneous catch ups. Private one-person plug-and-play workstations and meeting rooms of varying sizes, including a large training and conference suite, are tucked away down the corridor for more quiet or focused working.

Healthy outlook

Our fit out took cues from the architectural design of Circle Square, Manchester’s newest neighbourhood offering commercial, leisure and retail facilities, as well as the leafy Symphony Gardens on its doorstep. The new city park, with more than 100 semi-mature trees and 1000s of flowers, plants and shrubs, provides a sense of place and identity despite the urban setting.

The use of cherry blossom planters in the reception area, alongside warm textured woodgrains, brass and other natural materials all help to provide an organic, biophilic atmosphere, enhancing health, wellbeing and peace of mind within the new workplace.

Face the facts

We designed and built a unique environment to give Mills & Reeve a competitive edge; one which invites innovation, agility and collaboration, all whilst providing a destination that clients, visitors and colleagues choose to visit. Guilty as charged, we’ve done it again!

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