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bradley arant boult cummings

Nashville, TN
Project Size
85,000 SF
“Innovation has a New Home” is the slogan developed by this regional law firm to brand their move to an exciting new headquarters building. Located in an emerging neighborhood, the contemporary office building was specifically designed from the inside out to accommodate the firm’s occupancy needs. These needs, identified during extensive programming, included critical cultural concerns, management of change and growth, and having a strong, visible “signature” without extravagance.

Culturally, the firm was fragmenting, largely the result of their prior office design. Lawyers and staff were operating in small “cliques” with little interaction and visibility. This significant design challenge was addressed in the new space by incorporating a 3-story atrium at the top of the building that serves as the nexus of interaction and visibility for everyone in the firm. Access to and from the office from the elevators requires movement through the atrium via glass bridges and stairs. Further, all shared and public areas are located around the atrium space including cafes, meeting rooms, the break room with adjoining outdoor terrace and main reception space.

The need for a flexible solution to individual lawyer offices was identified as a means to promote easy moves within the space as well as fostering a more democratic atmosphere. The design response to this issue is a single uniform office size at the perimeter for both partners and associates. To make this work, a 28’ column grid and 4’-8” perimeter window module allowing 14’ by 14’ perimeter offices was developed. To create a signature space, the progressive design focused on daylight and openness as a means to extend the virtues of the atrium throughout the occupancy.

The exterior was designed to incorporate floor to ceiling glass, attorney office doors are aluminum with full glass inserts most shared spaces are either open or enclosed with glass in aluminum framing. The resulting signature is one of a transparent beacon with sight lines into the
space from the street both day and night. The crisp modern design of both the building and the interior is centered on the combination of aluminum and glass featuring a 2 ½ story etched glass stair in the atrium. Etched glass plank bridges allow light to pass to the floor of the atrium and show movement from foot traffic above. The finish palette includes sandstone floors from a local quarry, cherry veneers in public areas, and earth tone cement-based wall finishes offer a sense of warmth and calm.

As a result of this project’s design, the law firm has realized significant improvements in its business performance as well as enjoying the sense of being “one firm” again. In addition, the community has embraced the new offices as ground-breaking in their design with the space being used frequently as a stage set for television and other video productions.