Michael Sans Product Design, Berlin has designed and art directed the office space for the Berlin-based law-firm Hyazinth LLP. Founded in 2017 the lawyers asked Sans to design their new head-quarter in Berlin. This two-story, 17.300 sq ft office-space of Hyazinth LLP is located at Potsdamer Platz, right in the center of Berlin, in the spectacular ‘Atrium-Tower’ by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Not only was Sans tasked with the design of the space itself, but also had been commissioned to develop most of the furniture and the lighting for the office. The goal was to use as less off-shelf products as possible for this interior.
First talks, brainstorms and initial briefings between clients and designer startet in October of 2016. This going right away full throttle, since the law-firm had to move in just a couple of weeks later, beginning of January 2017.
Very soon after the Berlin based company Artis Engineering was commissioned as a general contractor.
Time restrictions only allowed for a construction-accompanying process, having the lawyers move into only one of the levels with just temporary furniture and equipment at first. The construction work on the other level was completed, the lawyers had two switch levels so that the other floor could be completed. Total construction time for the project was 6 months.
The briefing asked for a spacial design that would provide the law-firm with up to 35 work-spaces. The partners and most of the lawyers each having their own spacious room, only few sharing a space. In addition to that there is two secretariats (each on one floor – 4 and 3 work-spaces), a reception on the upper floor (2 work-spaces) with an attached waiting room for the clients. Conferences can be held in three different rooms: A large one providing 15 places, a smaller one for up to 8 people, and an additional small conference room for only up to 4 people, providing a much more cosy and intimate atmosphere than the two larger ones. The client asked for a casual lounge room to be designed, usually to be used for internal gatherings, even parties, but also providing the opportunity for meetings and client presentations. Each floor has a small kitchen (plus storage room), utility rooms and, of course, bathrooms for employees and guests and clients.
The office occupies two full levels of the building. The general layout of each level is mimicking the shape of the architecture, which leads to a triangular floor plan (almost reminding of a slice of cake) with two colliding hall-ways on each floor, that meet in an open hall-space just before you enter the sharp-shaped, fully glazed room at the tip of the building. These two rooms, one on each level, house the large conference room (level 10) and a spacious lounge area (level 9). Offices, secretariats, smaller conference rooms, kitchen and utility rooms are directly accessible from the hall-ways.
With the goal of creating a very special and rather ‘law-firm-unlike’-environment Sans design manages to reflect and underline both the young lawyers’ fearless, innovative and powerful practice philosophy as well as the charismatic and vivid character of Berlin as the home-base for their business.
The general concept for the design of both space and furniture is very much based on the core values of Hyazinth LLP, being very modern and fearless in the way they are doing their business. Keywords for the design direction such as contrast, boldness, unexpected, but also gemutlich, long-lasting, playful and non-hipster (we are in Berlin) were decided upon very quickly, giving a main direction for shapes, color and materials.
Wether all the private offices and the conference rooms opt for a very light and friendly – sometimes even colorful – atmosphere, the reception area, the hallways and the waiting room are rather dark and – at least at first glance – slightly unwelcoming. Contrast is not only to be seen in dark vs. light/colorful, but also in the choice of materials:
Rough, untreated black-steel is used for the reception area, where floor, walls and the desk are executed in only that material. Hallways feature dimm lighting and raw floors. In contrast to that warm, solid woods, soft linoleum, partly even fluffy carpets and velvet is used in offices, conference rooms and the lounge.
Custom furniture being developed for this project:
SANS No.058, Work Desk Lawyers
SANS No.059, Sideboard Lawyers
SANS No.060, Table and Benches in solid oak (dining area)
SANS No.061, Stool in solid oak (small conference room)
SANS No.062, Floor Lamp Large
SANS No.063, Table Lamp
SANS No.064, Wall Lamp in solid brass
SANS No.066, Conference Table Large (15 seats)
SANS No.067, Conference Table Small (8 seats)
SANS No.068, Work Desk Secretary
SANS No.070, Name Tag Hallway
SANS No.071, Coat Hook
SANS No.073, Side Table Large and Small
SANS No.078, Pouf (lounge)
SANS No.079, Sofa Small (lounge)
SANS No.081, Sofa Large (lounge)
SANS No.082, Standing Desk
SANS No.085, Sofa Lawyers
Client: Hyazinth LLP, Berlin (www.hyazinth.de)
Design, art direction artistic realization, furniture design: Michael Sans Product Design, Berlin.
Assistant: Judi Toller, Architect.
Construction/site management: Artis Mobel Objekte Raumkonzepte GmbH, Berlin (www.artisengineering.de)
Photos: Laura Deschner, Michael Sans