by Allison Milionis
The view from the 23rd-floor lobby of the White, O'Connor, Curry & Avanzado law office is as good as it gets in Los Angeles. Nearly floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls reveal an awe-inspiring backdrop of the city, mountains, and Southern California's endlessly blue sky. Located in a corporate high rise in the prime business district of Century City, the new headquarters of one of LA's leading litigation law firms is a workspace to be envied.
When White, O'Connor, Curry & Avanzado decided to redesign their headquarters in early 2001, they had more in mind than a few touch-ups. Beyond the functional needs of the expanding firm, they were interested in a new space that promoted openness and camaraderie.
"We wanted a bold environment that also provoked thinking 'outside the box,'" says partner Andrew White. "Our goal was to work in an environment that would encourage both communication and innovation."
To satisfy these requirements, the firm hired Los Angeles-based Felderman + Keatinge, a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm with a penchant for clients who desire bold environments to match their image. "The key to this project," explains cofounder, Nancy Keatinge, "was determining who they were, understanding their business and their image, then translating that in design."
Unlike some of their recent clients, creative companies like MTV and Universal Music Group, this law-firm client emerged from a normally staid, traditional culture that typically conducts most of its business behind closed doors, in offices and conference rooms furnished in dark, heavy woods. >>>
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...
Reception area of the White, O'Connor, Curry & Avanzado law office, designed by Felderman + Keatinge. The glass-enclosed conference room illustrates shifting wall and ceiling planes.
Photo: Marvin Rand
A clerical support area with "floating" stainless steel columns and glass walls.
Photo: Marvin Rand
Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.