T-minus one month.
That’s how long it is until the New York office of Hogan Lovells leaves its Third Avenue space for new digs at 390 Madison. Workers are now busy preparing the space for the opening.
ALM obtained a sneak peek of the office construction this month, including when artist Chris Natrop and his team were installing a full wall art display.
When ready, the office promises to be a whole new experience for Hogan Lovells attorneys and staff. Some of the design elements might seem familiar to anyone who’s visited a chic new law firm office. Natural light is the order of the day. Elevator banks are out; central stairways are in. No more going down to street level for a breath of fresh air; lawyers and staff can simply step onto one of the office’s terraces.
But Arlene Chow, a partner at the firm who led its design committee, said some things might surprise you. While the space is technically six floors, it is chock-full of double and even triple-height common areas—even a hidden terrace—for lawyers, staff and visitors to explore. The open floor plan isn’t a sea of cubicles below eight-foot drop ceilings. Blue, green and yellow tile walls accentuate a stairway, a cafe and the reception area.
The centerpiece of one of the unusual spaces is a giant wall-mounted artwork by Natrop, a Los Angeles-based artist who was at work when ALM visited. While a stereotypical law firm might pick art that shows off its “understated sophistication,” Chow said, Natrop’s work is emblematic of the attitude that Hogan Lovells wants to project.
“It’s professional, but at the same time, it’s energetic,” she said. “We’re trying to send a message that we’re not staid and conservative; we’re bold.”
While the firm considered moving to Hudson Yards or the World Trade Center, Chow said it ultimately settled on 390 Madison, which is not technically a new building but a renovated one, partly because of its proximity to Grand Central Terminal. The architecture firm Studios came out ahead of its competitors with its plans for the space, she added.
The firm declined to state the build-out’s cost.
The office project was originally slated to be done in December, but a bit of delay is par for the course in New York City construction, Chow noted. “Even my kitchen had a couple months’ delay,” she quipped.