A hundred years of law
Kaye Scholer is starting the second century of its activity in new offices. Established in 1917 in New York by Benjamin Kaye and Jacob Scholer, the studio is one of the most renowned legal consultancies in the world, with 9 offices in the USA, Asia and Europe, and a staff of nearly 500 lawyers, with a 2015 turnover of 370 million USD. After 57 years at 425 Park Avenue, Kaye Scholer moved to 250 West 55th Street last year, a new building which will project the studio’s history into the future.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), the building is a 38 storey glass tower, certified LEED Gold, with a range of energy advantages and integrated lighting, water and ventilation control systems.
Kaye Scholer’s new offices occupy 13 storeys with a total of 24,000 sq.m of office space. The interior design was handled by the Gensler architecture studio, itself one of the largest in the world with a workforce of 5,000 in its many local offices, recently in the news for its completion of the Shanghai Tower, the second highest building in the world.
The objective of the design project was to create a habitable space to promote connectedness, creativity and the psycho-physical wellbeing of the lawyers and their staff.
Methodologically, the other big challenge was to reduce the costs of the physical space occupied by the company’s vast library which, with its tens of thousands of volumes of law and procedures, has always been the dream destination for film directors wanting to shoot lawyers, judges and investigators in their natural setting. Thanks to new technologies, this vast amount of information has been digitalised and transferred into e-book form, so that every member of the team has access to the entire library, no matter where they are.
The most evident sign of wellbeing is given by the large, full-height windows which illuminate the interiors, divided in turn by glass partitions to create a feeling of transparency and luminosity – not always available in a town of skyscrapers like New York. The friendly, collaborative environment is introduced by the open spaces of the reception area, the barception’, a space which combines reception functions with a cafeteria, the company canteen with its islands of high quality food, and the three terrace areas available to the team, their friends and family members.
The common areas and vertical connections are fitted with glass balustrades, and the tranquil, luminous setting is enhanced by the Atlas Concorde porcelain tile used in the reception area, elevator lobbies, conference room and cafeteria. The marble effect of the ceramic floors perfectly complements the modern furnishings with their clean, sober and nonetheless colourful and welcoming design.
Atlas Concorde, Marvel
75x75, 45x90, 60x60, 30x60
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <=0.1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <=150mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R >=40 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): >0.40
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant