Shoosmiths Offices – Birmingham

  • Client Shoosmiths,
  • size 32,900 sqft
  • Year 2023
  • Location United Kingdom, Birmingham, England,
  • Industry Law Firm / Legal Services,
  • Office Principles completed Shoosmiths‘ stunning, hybrid workplace for the law firm in Birmingham, England.

    We have designed and fit out 28,449 sq ft across the 11th, 12th and 20th floors of the state-of-the-art 103 Colmore Row in the heart of the city’s business district.

    From its impressive arrival experience to an incredible variety of flexible spaces, this is a space like no other, with a hospitality feel that surprises and delights on every level.

    Shoosmiths is the law firm clients choose for excellent service, incisive thinking and above all for its ability to focus on what matters.

    From offices across the UK and Brussels, the firm supports some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious businesses; amazing clients making an impact.

    Shoosmiths empowers its people to be their authentic selves and deliver together in supportive teams committed to excellence and innovation. The firm has won prestigious industry awards and has been recognised for being the most active law firm advising on corporate transactions across the UK (Experian, 2022).

    As an ambitious firm, fast growing in its chosen markets, Shoosmiths announced its intention to relocate its Birmingham office in early 2022.

    Our brief was to deliver a shining example of post-pandemic working, including creating a ‘destination office space’ fit for a hybrid environment, where clients and colleagues could do business.

    To achieve that goal, the final design would need to be much more than just an ‘office space’, instead it would need to represent a new home that embodied Shoosmiths’ identity, culture and values.

    This is an extraordinarily light, open and creative workspace that tells a story, not only about Shoosmiths but about its people, clients and the city of Birmingham it calls home.

    It delivers a luxurious, hospitality-style experience that is blended and organic, and refuses to conform to traditional demarcations between office and breakout space – Shoosmiths employees are empowered to choose how and where to work and socialise.

    Even the shape of its meeting rooms – none of which are square – are joyously free from convention.

    The workspace also showcases detailed joinery and opulent jewellery features reflective of Birmingham’s industrial heritage. The highlight is a breathtaking 80 metre metal ‘ribbon’, created by internationally renowned sculptor David Begbie following a year-long collaboration with Shoosmiths and Office Principles North.

    All three floors are connected by a fluid, open plan and collaborative layout reflective of the city’s world-famous waterways. Flexible, multipurpose spaces are used to support a variety of activities, including a townhall area which doubles as an event and training space and a daytime coffee bar for hosting evening entertainment. Meeting rooms, call pods and refreshment facilities have been designed to promote inclusivity by catering for people with physical disabilities, with quiet ‘snug’ areas offering space for focused work – all featuring the latest acoustic properties.

    What is especially striking is the way that the design stimulates the senses, with touch, smell, sight, taste and sound all carefully catered for. A natural, sophisticated colour palette is complemented by tactile comforts, plush velvets, polished plaster, warm timbers and mood lighting. There is also a combination of bespoke, handcrafted furniture to allow people to sit or stand to suit their needs.

    The effect is a space for all, where equality and neurodiversity are celebrated in the workplace and where everyone can realise their potential.

    The completed workspace is a shining example of what the office of the future looks like, with an environment focused on the health and wellbeing of occupants and a design that delivers synergy between brand, people and place.

    Design: Office Principles
    Photography: courtesy of Office Principles