Law Firm | New York, NY | 32,000 sf | 2006

This prestigious Chicago-based law firm needed a new home in New York. In August 2005, Jenner & Block LLP retained SKB to assist in their real estate selection for this new office. SKB quickly evaluated five sites and determined that the 37th floor of a massive, black, Mies van der Rohe inspired building in midtown Manhattan best suited the needs of Jenner & Block LLP. To meet a very aggressive schedule, SKB negotiated with a general contractor and accelerated the design process to produce a multi-phased project and to allow Jenner & Block to “open for business” on November 1, 2005 in a portion of the space, while a phased renovation project was being designed and documented.

The space was gutted, with the exception of the perimeter attorney offices, and then reconfigured in order to optimize the openness and transparency that the magnificent 360 degree views of the New York skyline provided. The aerial nature of the space was preserved by creating vertical and horizontal planes throughout the office; amber/orange glass divides work stations, macassar ebony wood paneling lines the walls, and travertine and white calacatta marble create low walls and credenzas in the reception and lobby areas. The vertical lines make the space appear larger than it actually is; this effect is furthered by the varying sizes of the ceiling panels, which lend additional height to the space.

The floor plan becomes a collection of updated architectural boxes (for example: in the form of secretarial work stations on the interior) surrounded by bright exterior offices and conference rooms with large acoustical ceiling planes. Conference rooms and Partner offices line the perimeter of the space, while the interior is occupied by a library, work stations, file room, lunch room, and a mini-conferencing center with divisible conference rooms and an attached catering station. The entire space is bright as glass walls allow light from the exterior offices and conference rooms to flow into the center of the office. This brightness is increased by the amber/orange color theme, which was inspired by the coloring of the surrounding New York skyline at dusk. Orange glass and silk planes are dispersed throughout the space, creating delicate lines amidst the neutral tones of the furniture, carpets, and walls. These neutral tones are made more complex by playing with contrasts in texture – rough and smooth, metallic and nonmetallic, transparent and opaque.

The space gives off a worldly, refined style – something that will never be outdated. It is unique, even for New York and especially for a law office; it is, in fact, the epitome of sophisticated architectural simplicity.