Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

New York, NY, USA Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Interiors 250,000 ft2 / 23,000 m2 Interiors Magazine Interiors Award for Achievement, Law Offices (1992), ABA Journal Law Office Design Competition (1991)

KPF’s design for the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton includes office, boardroom, library, conference, and cafeteria spaces. The client wanted a design for their New York office that would reflect its democratic organizational structure and lack of departmentalization. In response, KPF’s design organizes six 40,000-square-foot floor plates into 45 “neighborhoods”, each with a working cluster of partners, associates, paralegals, and support staff.

Helping to break down the scale of the floors and provide focused work areas for the different teams at the firm, the neighborhoods are all finished in the same materials to create a sense of connection and continuity throughout the space.

The project included the design of two light-filled atria, intended to bring in as much natural light as possible and to allow for efficient communication between the floors. Each atrium has windows in its fourth wall, letting light into the space and allowing light from outside to penetrate the floors around each atrium opening. The atria offer both visitors and employees spectacular views of lower Manhattan, the harbor, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The atria, the adjoining reception area and lobby are all finished in stone, metal, and wood, unifying the space with a consistent visual language.

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