Walking up the narrow staircase to Hilditch Lawyers’ offices, you are immediately struck by the entrance – raw wooden stairs meets matte black walls and ceilings.
The law firm aims to be different, not just in style, but also in substance.
“It’s not enough to assert that you are different from the pack,” James Hilditch tells InDaily.
“You must be different if that’s what you are about.”
The interior of the workspace occupied by Hilditch and his team is a striking testament to this approach. It has turquoise walls, soft leather sofas, purple armchairs, plaid carpeting, and a very dapper feature wall that imitates a well-stocked, well-loved library.
The bright colours, unusual features and a gallery of digitally-remastered portraits mimic an almost traditionalist design scope while slightly thumbing their nose at the conventionally staid view of a law practice.
“It was really about grabbing the opportunity to do something a bit unique,” Hilditch says.
“I had no fixed ideas, and I appreciate a number of different approaches. On this occasion I was looking for a purposeful mix of interesting objects, materials and finishes.”
Hilditch hired Williams Burton Architecture for the project after working with the firm previously.
“We understand and trust each other. I provided a basic design brief and made a couple of specific requests; they produced the end result.
“You run the risk of compromising the product if you start to interfere (with the architects).
“I enjoy being in an environment that’s comfortable and welcoming, and I hope people feel that way when they come here.”
When asked if the office design was a conscious decision to shake up people’s preconceptions of a law firm, he replies: “Absolutely.”
And how do clients respond to the space?
“Different people notice and react to different features when they first experience it. Most come back!”
Hilditch Lawyers is at level 1, 24 Grote Street, Adelaide.
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