Harmos Horton Lusk
Traditional with a Twist
Harmos Horton Lusk are a specialist corporate law firm with a strength in advising clients on some of the most complex legal matters in New Zealand. Their brief to Warren and Mahoney was to provide a workplace which is both traditional and at the leading edge of what a legal practice should offer. From an external perspective their hosting and meeting facilities were to be of the highest quality, providing an experience unlike any other you are likely to encounter in a law firm.
Workshops with the Partners and the wider team resulted in the concept of “traditional with a twist’, staying true to the components which have made HHL successful while also introducing something entirely unexpected to elevate their brand in the market.
The reference to traditional is found in the use of dark timbers and the formality of the meeting spaces. The counter to this is the twist, found in the cool sense of abstraction of these spaces - the smoked mirror cladding to the boardroom or the extruded metal mesh opposite. The curvature distorts the reflections from the mirror and plays with light and shadow. The cobble stone floor and polished plaster ceiling challenges conceptions of what a reception should be. The entry is formed by a simple cluster of meeting rooms around an unmanned reception, but to the new visitor or unassuming guest it is a gallery-type experience.
Our briefing and design workshop sessions focussed on extracting the essential character of the HHL brand, people and culture. Words such as ‘indispensable’, ‘disruptive’ and ‘exclusive’ were used to summarise the brand, while their people were described as hard working, jovial and creative.
The resulting design has an art installation approach to the entrance area, focussed on HHL’s eclectic art collection through the use of unusual materials, curved surfaces and mysterious spaces; then leading through to a more personal, homely and sanctuary-like working environment. Employees of HHL now have access to premium grade meeting and conferencing facilities, a large central amenity with space to relax with colleagues and most importantly, a calm, spacious workspace with adequate areas to focus, converse with colleagues or simply to read.