Following their growth in Italy and expansion throughout Europe, Herbert Smith Freehills have opened their new offices in via Rovello, Milan. Cushman & Wakefield were commissioned to develop the project to create efficient work areas with an emphasis on wellbeing.
Two years after opening their headquarters in Italy, at the end of 2019 the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills moved into the new spaces designed and planned by Cushman & Wakefield’s Design & Project Management Team: 1300 square metres distributed over two floors inside an historic building in the heart of Milan.
“In order to fully understand the values and create the right feeling with the brand’s other international offices,” say designers Eleonora Prassino and Eleonora Bellini, “we shared images of spaces they had already created around the world and studied their guidelines. These headquarters had to convey a genuine sense of being Italian and through their refined, contemporary spaces had to focus on the wellbeing of employees, which is guaranteed through welcoming, bright, comfortable environments.”
A careful analysis of materials led us to choose wood to characterise the customer areas, which were created using mainly custom-made furniture.
The reception area on the first floor of the firm represents the heart of the project. Behind the reception desk, a system of sliding wooden panels featuring fixed and adjustable sunshades screens off the existing French windows, separating the internal environment from the building shell, and was designed using simple shapes and a careful study of the light and colours.
To calibrate the proportions of the pre-existing environment, an oblique wall covered with wallpaper has been placed to scale down the large volumes and demarcate the new meeting room next to it. The same wall takes on greater importance, forming a centrepiece to the arrangement and creating a spacious informal break and waiting area.
In the operational area on the second floor, consisting of individual and double offices, a combination of minimal design and technology prevail, cleverly conveyed in the colour tones of white and grey – which give it light and a sense of transparency.
The Library-Lounge area reflects a homely mood. Ideally conceived as a single room, the library provides a double function thanks to the large retractable sliding door, which divides up the space defining the lounge area used by both customers and the firm’s staff.
“Attention to detail and personalisation are two of the distinctive features of this project,” sum up Prassino and Bellini from Cushman & Wakefield, “we designed much of the furniture and even standard furnishings were customised to fully meet the requirements of those who use the firm’s spaces.”
For this new fit-out, Dieffebi has used a storage system that guarantees functionality, good filing capacity and the option to extend the system if need be. The open shelving provides a surface to stand things on and can also be used as exhibition space. Without forgetting biophilic design, a new trend: Dieffebi metal furniture allows greenery to be integrated whilst keeping all the surfaces clean and easily sanitisable.
Size of intervention area
1300 square metres
Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills
Strategic Planning Advice
Paola Migliavacca, Cushman & Wakefield
Design Project and Project Management, Cushman & Wakefield
Eleonora Prassino and Eleonora Bellini
Brusban Company Srl