- May 31st, 2010
- in Yachting
Walkers, an international law firm situated in the heart of Road Town, specializes in investment funds, private equity and capital markets; structured finance, restructuring and corporate insolvency and international commercial litigation. In 2005, the firm was expanding from their original base in Road Town’s Mill Mall, and they wanted to relocate to a larger space that reflected the corporate professionalism they deliver.
The JOMA Barracks building, home to the offices of Walkers Global, was under construction with architects Roger Downing & Partner (RDP) at the time that Walkers signed a rental agreement for 9,600 sq ft—an area that could accommodate the existing workforce whilst allowing for future expansion.
RDP was asked to incorporate into the new Walkers Global commercial space. An initial consultation with the client revealed that the firm wanted to create an interior that reflected an international style. The goal was that when inside the office, the visitor and employee could feel that they were in London, New York or Hong Kong. Only on closer inspection of artwork, indoor plants and friendly smiles would they be reminded that they were in the Caribbean.
All photos by Marc Downing.
The client desired a modern design that wouldn’t become dated in several years and still retained a sense of professionalism. RDP answered this criterion by using a contrasting palette. Maple millwork and desktops, a refreshing change from the dark timbers typically used in law offices, along with white, clean walls contrasted with darker floors of black granite in the lobby area and blue carpet within the office spaces. Frosted glazing was utilized to create privacy without compromising natural daylight, and everything was complemented by satin stainless steel detailing.
The new interior was designed to resonate with visitors and to improve the productivity within the office: rethinking the workflow and understanding the workforce’s relationships in order to spatially organize the interior to create a more efficient layout. The narrow and long footprint of the building proved appropriate when analyzing the relationships between lawyers and secretaries. The secretaries sit conveniently adjacent to the lawyers’ offices, all are situated around the perimeter of the building so that each office has its own view. Large transoms at the upper levels of the offices filter daylight into the central corridor that also has large windows at either end.
Service areas such as the mailroom and filing room are located on the third floor; whereas, the public spaces—lobby, conference room and kitchenette—can be found on the fourth floor to take advantage of the best views. On the upper floor, the two conference rooms are located opposite each another, adjacent to the reception. The intention is that during social events or internal conferences, the sliding doors can be opened up to create one large space—designed with flexibility in mind.
The design process from concept to completion was a collaborative effort between client Walkers Global, developer JOMA Properties Ltd, project management (BCQS), contractor (Meridian Construction) and designer. Not only did RDP need to meet the client’s design intentions but also needed to come within the desired budget, time allocated and level of quality. Inspirational ideas that were explored at the concept stage were then refined during the design process without removing the initial ideas that first inspired the client and designer. In this particular example, it is rewarding to see the similarities between concept renderings and realized design—this is always RDP's goal and challenge as design professionals.