Transforming Tonkon Torp: MulvannyG2 introduces a new paradigm of law office design.

The situation: Tonkon Torp, LLP the second largest law firm in Portland, Oregon, was set to renew its lease for the first time in 20 years, and took the opportunity to improve its space – something that hadn’t been altered since 1989 – to reflect how the firm has evolved.

Client goals: The firm’s current cross-selling business model requires attorneys of different legal practices and generations to share more information about their clients to offer varied legal services and approaches. They wanted the new work environment to help ease the dynamic among the four generations of the 21st century workplace and their different styles and communication preferences.

Design solution: The interior architecture facilitates communication, innovation, and collaboration. A stunning circular stairwell connects all three floors to visually and physically connect people. Inviting new community spaces were added, converting closed partner offices into open, collaboration areas.

Interspersed among the three floors, these unscheduled spaces include a multi-purpose room, a fireplace lounge , a ‘barista-staffed’ coffee bar, wellness room, and a park with a ‘living green wall’—all designed to leverage the serendipity of unplanned interactions which help attorneys develop relationships and share knowledge with one another, for improved client service. Revision of the paralegal work area—with lower walls and reconfigured desk space—also results in enhanced productivity and work flow efficiencies.

Completed to LEED Silver standards, the use of many ‘green’ and local materials incorporated throughout the office speak to the firm’s commitment to sustainability, with nods to regional context. Results: The firm’s brand-values – leading edge, innovative, flexible, sustainable, and progressive – are all reflected in this project’s design. This new model of legal workspace design fosters a strong workforce and boosts profits by increasing knowledge sharing between generations, and introduces a new paradigm of informal collaboration for law firms.

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