With a unique concept tailored to the identity and needs of the client, Tétris was tasked with designing a new client centre to cater for international guests and visitors at the global law firm, Hogan Lovells. Located in Sandton, this law firm was in need of formal meeting suites following the initial restructure. The metropolitan location inspired a concept centred on creating the atmosphere of a pristine hotel within a corporate environment.
We hope you’ll agree that environments and their atmospheres have the ability to spontaneously enrich the quality of communication, to build camaraderie, inspire discussion about ideas, and to support creative solutions and strategies. People want to work in a setting that brings them to a higher plane.
Why would we ever return to the workplace?
I can think of one key reason: to relieve us from social deprivation.
We have an opportunity to create places of work that enhance our well-being and invigorate our connections. Many studies show that a sense of belonging to a community is a large indicator of life span. Suffice to say that physical proximity to others enriches our sense of connection.
To know we actually exist, we need to ‘see and be seen’ and to feel we’re part of a tribe is essential for building common purpose and a sense of belonging. It takes a diverse population in close proximity to make creative connections between distinct ideas; this, not only within a corporation, but between businesses as well.
Sure, we’re working remotely and successfully. . .for now. Companies that are thriving virtually are doing so because of a strong work culture that they achieved initially in a physical workplace, probably.
Visitors to the new Hogan Lovells space are immediately greeted by a feature plant wall of steel honeycomb pockets.
The rectangular floor plan lends itself to a longer reception area, spilling into an informal bar lounge, with a variety of different seating options. This generates a natural flow of movement towards the meeting rooms.
The meeting rooms extend around the perimeter of the floor, varying in capacity from eight to 16 people. The 24-seater main boardroom is strategically located at the centre of the conference suite, equipped with top quality AV / video facilities and specialised lighting solutions. Almost fully glassed in, the main boardroom is a highlight, with curtains rather than vinyl treatments to the glazing that softens the aesthetic of a typical boardroom, while echoing the luxury hotel vernacular.
A fresh take on the neutral colour palette is achieved through a predominantly white canvas of calcatta marble on the floors and shopfitting, layered with rich dark-stained oak panels, brass accents and greenery. Depth is achieved with textures and colours through warm tan leather, dark olive woven fabric and bespoke meeting booths upholstered in an aubergine fabric.
The scope of the project that Tétris delivered was for the 560-square metre client entertainment / interface area and it took four months to complete. The site was an existing office space with perimeter offices and an open-plan area in the centre, with lower levels of natural light.
Project Designer and Senior Interior Designer at Tétris South Africa, Helen Wentzel comments:
‘The client had a very high acoustic requirement for the new meeting room spaces, and where we were keeping walls to save on budget, we had to address the acoustic requirements by extending the walls through to the underside of the slab. Because of downstand beams in the floor below, we weren’t allowed to core or chase the floor slab for power to the centre of the meeting room tables wherever we wanted, so we had to get creative with where the power was positioned to function optimally. The lockdown interrupted the construction process, which extended the timeline.’
‘There are two private visitor offices; a variety of meeting rooms ranging from eight to 16 seaters; a reception area leading off into a generous client entertainment area; a wellness / mother’s room; a multi-faith room; two shower rooms and a print / copy facilities room.
Helen Wentzel adds: ‘The client wanted a light, timeless, contemporary interior, so light neutrals were the main focus, with dark stained oak timber accents to add warmth and texture. Touches of matt brass were used in the furniture elements, as well as the window screens and light fittings.
‘A continuous light fitting follows the curve of the main boardroom table, the matt brass hexagonal screen that obscures the unsightly building façade across the street, but still allows in the maximum amount of natural sunlight.’
location: Hogan Lovells, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
design & build fit-out specialist: Tétris
project designer: Helen Wentzel
photography: Elsa Young
main contractor: Certosa
electrician – DB Flash
rugs – Lund
meeting Room Chairs – Dauphin
couches – Sorelle
carpet – KBAC
plumber – UPP
finishes and products include:
Dauphin boardroom chairs
Sheer curtains in Hertex fabric
Jax Oleum in dark mahogany on the timber
artworks (abstract and profile) by: Solomon Omogboye; Nkosinathi Thomas Ngube