Unispace 25 Allens Linklaters

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Ian Worthy
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Lauren Wright
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Paige Horton
  • Client
    Allens Linklaters

Allens' Linkedlaters’ new workplace in Perth successfully transitions its team from a traditional cellular legal workplace to a high-performing open plan environment.

The space takes inspiration from the area’s rich, diverse landscape to inform the materials palette and define the look and feel. Warm timbers, rusted oranges, and bronzed metals pay homage to the local area and create an elegant and understated backdrop for the client’s Indigenous art collection. Local products, furniture, and craftspeople were celebrated, supporting their sustainability objectives and alignment to their Reconciliation Action Plan.

Allen’s significant shift in working style was a considerable adjustment. For this new way of working to be successful, the design solution had to be highly considered and bespoke to their requirements. Acoustic and visual privacy was integral, supported by enclosed focus and meeting spaces near team neighbourhoods to facilitate hybrid working and enhance efficiency. Custom-designed screening and bespoke H and T-shaped desk formations were workshopped with Allens to ensure the design aligned with their requirements. Storage and planting are equally positioned throughout, providing further sound and visual protection while keeping project files and resources within arm's reach. The brief included democratic access to natural light for all staff regardless of seniority – another significant transition from the hierarchical utilisation of space at their previous location.

In addition to creating a high-performing space, a key driver was the desire to heighten the client experience. A space for 'off matter' conversations saw a client lounge positioned centrally within the front of house, providing a comfortable space for informal client meetings. The client experience is further enhanced by locating the staff breakout and library space within the front of house. This change was another big step for the firm, which traditionally delineates staff and client spaces.

This social space is named 'Koort Mia', a direct translation for 'Heart Space' from the traditional custodians of the land, the Noongar people.

 The tenancy has a side core and deep floor plate with 35m of space between the arrival lobby and façade. By carefully considering the design and positioning of the reception, client lounge, and 'Koort Mia,' unobstructed views to the façade and Perth landscape beyond were achieved. Allens sought to share views and access to natural light across communal areas, appreciating the positive impact this has for both staff and clients. As a result, client meeting spaces were pulled away from the façade - another move away from a traditional approach where meeting spaces are typically located on the perimeter.

Sustainability was an essential driver for the project, which was underpinned by the client's Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) brief. The selection of primarily local materials and furniture was prioritised wherever possible. E.g., a bespoke solid timber boardroom table crafted by a local furniture maker. LED lighting was fitted throughout, with sensor controls turning lights off after motion isn't detected for a certain period. The client also invested in a workstation power system that turns off when not in use.