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‘kin create a ‘journey of discovery’ at Taylor Wessing’s art-filled workspace

Design consultancy ‘kin has revealed a bold new space for the global law firm’s Liverpool office, located on the city’s iconic Albert Docks.

15/07/2021 3 min read

Project Team

  • Client

    Taylor Wessing LLP

  • Interior Design


  • Project Managers


  • Flooring

    Havwoods, Tarkett

  • Furniture

    Dodds & Shute, &Tradition, Rawside, Muuto

  • Acoustics & Graphics

    Artworks Solutions

Taylor Wessing serves the world’s most innovative people and businesses and wanted the design to be distinctive and inspirational, reflecting their innovative culture and long-standing commitment to the arts. ‘kin has delivered an interior that showcases cutting-edge technology and space that promotes teamwork and collaboration against a backdrop of imagery from the National Portrait Gallery, which the firm sponsors.

Keen for a presence in the North, the international law firm chose Edward Pavilion, a Grade I Listed Building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, as their new home in this vibrant and flourishing city. ‘kin’s brief was to create an interior that united Taylor Wessing’s new Liverpool Team.

‘The client felt it important for the design to celebrate its arrival in the Northwest but still keep a companywide connection,’ explains ‘kin Design Director Matt Holmes. ‘It needed to feel open, yet with enough private space that colleagues could chose to work anywhere within the space, regardless of the task.’

Artwork is displayed throughout the new offices, including winners of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which act as visual markers around the space. The National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Hold Still’ exhibition is also featured; a series of photographs taken between May and June 2020 which created a unique collective portrait of the UK during the first lockdown.

‘Our task was to deliver a space that worked functionally while also allowing for what we’re calling a ‘journey of discovery’. The layout and flow of the space has been based on principles of how one would navigate an art gallery,’ says Matt.

‘The core function of each area was carefully considered, not only in the way users interact with it, but how a user would potentially choose to work there,’ says Matt. ‘Each space is designed for more than one use, maximising the overall space. Collaboration areas can quickly become quieter working spaces with furniture changing and flexing to support this. This is of huge benefit to the client who can now work from an innovative office that not only improves their internal connection but their connection with the wider world.’

The material palette was carefully selected to compliment and bring balance to the existing building. Warm white oak chevron flooring was chosen to soften the harshness of the red brick, and nude-coloured voiles complement the proportions of the small single glazed rectangular windows. All of this is then offset against the monolithic black stained oak elements of the joinery, allowing a perfect canvas on which to display the strong and poignant imagery from The National Portrait Gallery. Biophilic design was also carefully considered, and the use of large tropical palms and hanging planting offers a sense of calm, making the space feel welcoming and familiar.

Underpinning the material palette is an impressive range of innovative technology. Virtually unseen, this tech allows the space to support the fast-paced nature of Taylor Wessing’s business needs, as well as facilitating the fluid nature of the design.

Overcoming technical concerns surrounding acoustics and natural light was a challenge, adds Matt. As the team was working within the constraints of a listed building, any new fixings into the existing structure had to be pre-approved by a heritage consultant, meaning that additional time and thought went into every aspect of the build. Targeting an ‘excellent’ rated BREEAM sustainability accreditation was a late decision in 
the design process.

Elements such as HVAC and acoustics needed to be considerably amended to achieve the performance criteria required for this rating. However, by working in true partnership, the project partners were able to deliver the changes required, all whilst keeping the project on track (and budget). BREEAM Excellent was eventually awarded, much to the delight of the client and design team.

‘This project is a truly special space,’ says Matt. ‘Nestled in the top of a building seeped in history, it is an unexpected find for people visiting. ‘kin’s philosophy was to keep as much of the building’s existing fabric on display as possible and enhance rather than redesign. The core approach to ‘invite’ people on this journey through the space, rather than ‘dictate’ is something that we are very proud of.’

Photography: Matt Pover

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