Global law firm, Ashurst, was approaching the end of its lease at Times Square and engaged M Moser for due diligence and negotiations on a real estate opportunity in 55 Hudson Yards.
With a vision “to be the most progressive global law firm”, Ashurst wanted to embrace the transformative spirit of New York City in the Manhattan re-development project. The new workplace needed to support a collaborative team spirit and illustrate the complete democratization of space unique to the law firm.
- The M Moser team worked with leadership at Ashurst to reimagine the company culture and reflect its vision, “to be the most progressive global law firm.”
- Stepping away from traditional legal design and embracing shared space was a marked cultural shift, seen in open desking for lawyers and executives giving up corner offices.
- The new workplace includes flexible and diverse collaborative settings to enhance information sharing.
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Enabling a cultural shift
With a focus on the democratization of space, shared settings, and a collaborative spirit, Ashurst’s goal was to take advantage of the relocation as an opportunity to change behaviors and adapt the way the firm worked to better suit the consulting legal model. Experiencing rapid growth, the firm was also keen to reflect its progressive ethos and use the design of the new space to attract and retain talent.
Its previous location in the saturated legal neighbourhood of Midtown featured closed, private offices and a 1:1 desk ratio across the floor. Through leadership visioning during the discovery phase, the M Moser team worked with decision-makers to reimagine the culture of “space as status.” After establishing Ashurst’s vision, M Moser developed a workplace design that represents a dynamic shift from “me spaces” to “we spaces”.
From corner offices to collaboration
Unique to the firm, the partners gave up the classic “corner office” to make way for collaboration, agility, and flexibility amongst the team. Enabling functionality and partnership, M Moser’s design includes team tables and casual meeting areas in these spaces instead. These spaces create great collaboration throughout the firm’s team, while additionally providing private focus areas for quiet, confidential work in place of a typical expansive private office.
Discovery, programming, visioning, culture, and branding enabled M Moser to understand how far Ashurst wanted to push its progressive nature and future business.
Design for workplace flexibility
The design includes spaces for social interaction and collaboration beyond traditional large conferencing and private meeting rooms. Ashurst’s new workplace includes flexible and diverse teamwork settings with writable surfaces and video conference capabilities. These facilities help to better support hands-on collaboration and information sharing.
Transforming a typically underutilised reception and waiting area, the new multi-purpose social hub doubles up as a town-hall meeting space and co-working area for clients and visiting partners.
With a view to increase the 1:1 desk ratio to a shared office as Ashurst continues to grow, the team leveraged a furniture solution for day one with storage units that serve as alternative work points for those who are mobile. As headcount grows, these alternative work points can be easily replaced with desks.
Ashurst’s transformative New York workplace marks a shift away from traditional law firm culture, embracing a highly collaborative, future-focused space that sets a new benchmark in the industry.
- Status Completed
- Area 20,000 sq-ft
- Completion date 2019
- Location New York, NY
- Photographer Aaron Thompson