Designwell Ltd 16 iCLAW

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Alexander Wastney
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Alanah McCormick
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Jacki Welten, Steve Mills
  • Client

Gone are the days of stuffy, bland lawyers’ offices. iCLAW are challenging the conventions of legal practice with a focus on healthy workplace culture and connection with their community.
Our brief was to create a flexible, front-of-house space for their team’s day-to-day use as well as for them to open up to the community, using their space as a canvas for central city events and social gatherings. Their main workspace is open plan, conducive to collaboration and connection, while incorporating clever acoustics and subtly breaking up the space with custom planters and storage caddies to maintain privacy. They needed a variety of meeting rooms to accommodate client groups of differing sizes and these needed to be easily accessible from both the client entry point as well as the main staff workspace.
The layout of the space is open while also providing multiple options for privacy. Clients are greeted by a luxurious reception area which blurs the lines between traditional and modern: extensive timber cabinetry with brass accents and vintage law volumes are paired with ambient lighting, clean lines and a minimal palette. Large and open, the reception area doubles as a staff breakout space and hosts classy social events after hours. Window seating and loose furniture allow the space to be reconfigured for the reception area’s multiple uses. It’s a polished and professional space that’s also welcoming, well-used, flexible and inclusive.
Rather than cover it up with posh, our design leaned into the raw and industrial architecture of the space. Rough concrete ceilings and walls are left untouched, air vents and cable trays are exposed and repurposed copper piping is used both for functionality and stylistic detailing. The exposure of these raw details behind and alongside more refined materials creates a beautiful and endearing contrast, making subtle reference to iCLAW’s staunch value of the human behind the job title.
Drawn down the gallery hall by scenic river views, clients are guided towards more intimate settings in the meeting rooms, which feature internal doors for staff to quickly access their desks without compromising on client privacy. Full glazed partitions connect the meeting rooms with the exterior views while providing acoustic privacy.
Primary entry to the main workspace is through a quirky porthole door in the kitchen, reflecting iCLAW’s playfulness and their confidence to challenge the norms. The main workspace maintains functionality and privacy in a large open plan space. Vertical planters are used as space dividers, screening off workspace areas while maintaining a lively environment and enhancing the biophilic health of the space. A variety of functional side spaces and focus rooms away from the main workspace allow for informal meeting spaces and opportunities to step away for private conversations.
iCLAW’s new office is a true representation of how they do law - professional and personal with a bit of pizazz.