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While stories of the shrinking office still make headlines, two of Philadelphia’s most reputable law firms are doubling down on the physical workplace—but now with a new outlook on what role the office plays in the firm’s success.
There is a growing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in the built environment. From a company’s carbon footprint and waste management practices, to its interactions with its stakeholders and communities, to its internal policies, procedures, and decision-making processes, consumers are increasingly considering what a company stands for rather than simply what services it provides.
Building an office for a law firm is not your typical construction project. These projects present a unique set of challenges, and having a deep understanding of the needs of law firms is crucial when constructing an office. So when Akin Gump and Baker Hostetler, two of the nation’s leading law firms, were each looking for a new office space at 1735 Market Street in Philadelphia, they turned to Structure Tone. Not only does Structure Tone have a strong track record of working with law firms, but the company has also worked on over 20 different floors at that address alone.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace planning for the legal sector was in the midst of change. Open-plan floor plates, hoteling options, “huddle” rooms, enhanced technologies—these elements had already begun making their way into the new law office environment.
As design trends come and go, law firms have historically stuck to a more traditional workplace aesthetic that is, in many cases, rooted in more than a century of legacy. However, with unprecedented challenges and shifts in workplace dynamics in the last several years, some trends are emerging.