CMS CAMERON MCKENNA, LONDON
CMS Cameron McKenna (CMS) provides specialist
law and tax advice, and has 59 branches worldwide.
When it outgrew the seven-floor London offices it
had occupied for 20 years, it took the opportunity to
change the traditional structure of a typical lawyer’s
offices and create a new, collaborative space in which
to deal with clients.
MCM Architecture designed the new offices over
three floors at Cannon Place, near the City, as open-plan but ‘humanised’, introducing a series of shared
cellular support spaces such as video conferencing
rooms, meeting and quiet areas, cafe and break-out
spaces, and room for clients to work in before and
after meetings. Traditional cellular offices for partners
and fee earners have gone; technology provides a
flexible working environment, with fee earners using
mobile devices linked to a wireless network.
Each of CMS’s four key market segments has its own
client lounge whose centrepiece is the technology hub
with a bespoke Corian bench flowing through the
space. The aim was to facilitate mobility and cross-team working but, at the same time, Light Bureau
varied the lighting to give each of the hubs a distinct
atmosphere and to differentiate the sectors.
Integrated lighting around the reception desk and a
drop pendant, comprising a series of rings, create a
focal point. The lighting reinforces the fluidity of the
technology hub bench, whose forms melds with the
adjacent reception desk. The aim was to enhance the
sculptural qualities of the reception desk and seating
unit while avoiding reflection in the specular surfaces.
Diffuse reflected light was integrated into the two
sculptural staircases that connect the floors and
are visible from the main building atrium and lifts.
This ‘provides an illuminated marker, increasing the
visibility of the stairs both within the CMS interior
and externally when viewed from other parts of the
building,’ says Joe Vose, associate designer at Light
Bureau. But, he adds, ‘the main vertical surfaces of the
reception proved to be challenging as the main feature
wall was a very dark specular material, and creating
a homogeneous effect was made even harder by the
50mm clearance that was possible.’ The solution was
‘a very diffuse linear channel which provided dot-
The reception has a business centre divided from the main area
by wavy Lasvit glass panels, uplit and downlit for consistent
illumination, using RGBW LEDs for a colour option