Reed Smith is a highly engaged global law firm providing creative legal services from over 30 offices internationally. A shift to hybrid working in Leeds would allow for some flexibility in the physical office, providing space for Reed Smith’s staff to grow and innovate. They were in the process of making a move to the iconic Globe Point in the Temple district when we joined the team as part of the relocation project.
This project was a collaboration between JLL, Bluesky Design and Ben Johnson. JLL were given approval by Reed Smith to recruit and assemble an experienced team capable of delivering the office relocation within a tight timeframe. This collaborative team would provide the speed of a design and build contract with cost assurance under JLL management, requiring us to all work together to achieve the designer and the client’s vision for the right budget.
Reed Smith’s brief made it clear they wanted a fresh, clean and light look throughout. Our detailed survey of the existing furniture found that the majority was in great condition and should be reused, reducing their carbon and economic footprint. This meant that design would be largely based around the existing furniture and any redundant furniture was to be donated to charity.
There were a number of challenges to overcome, as the building name suggests, Globe Point was uniquely designed at a point. Upon entering, you are greeted with the deepest part of the footprint and as you walk through the space, it gradually narrows till you reach the point with its terrific views.
The unique shape of the floorplate, together with the full height windows and three feature ceilings meant care had to be taken when deciding where the meeting rooms, zoom rooms, offices and comms room were placed to ensure the best acoustic, light and space utilisation.
Feature flooring was installed to help define work zones; therefore, the tricky shape required a skilled flooring team to achieve the desired angles. We also needed to remain ever cautious of the various building constraints of working within a new and iconic building in Leeds, with restrictions on hours of work, lift use, blinds and protecting surface finishes within the base build. We also discovered the void underneath the raised floor was very narrow, so care had to be taken to source a power and data solution that would work within the building’s constraints. We also worked closely with Reed Smith’s internal IT team and nominated AV company to ensure all furniture and electrics worked with the client’s AV systems.
The finished project
Upon walking into the space, you are welcomed by a bespoke feature graphic and informal meet and greet area. For acoustics and space efficiency all the cellular areas were positioned within the deepest part of the floorplate. This provides a natural walkway and clear view across the workspace, creating a real impact and WOW factor with the unique feature ceilings, flooring and furniture.
The new office provides Reed Smith with a wider choice of meeting facilities from the more confidential boardroom, project rooms and zoom rooms to the collaboration zones throughout the open plan and informal kitchen breakout space.
We hope the end result gives the Reed Smith team a refreshing and exciting space to boost their creativity and morale each and every day, with that aspirational feel they were looking for to draw in the members of staff more inclined to work from home.
The new office delivers everything we need and more, we couldn’t be happier with the end result the project team supplied. We feel more strongly than ever that our employees will enjoy working in our brand new space!