Laying Down the Law: Fish & Richardson’s New Boston Office

Intellectual property law firm Fish & Richardson has a long history of representing great innovators – from Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers to Adobe and Genzyme, their attorneys have played an important role in fostering advancement and innovation.

ADD Inc used this for inspiration when they began to design the firm’s new Boston office.

Breaking from a pack of downtown law firms vying for staid office space, Fish & Richardson elected to join the individuals, start-ups, and forward-thinking companies that fuel the city’s creative economy in Boston’s burgeoning Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Also known as the Innovation District, it stands at the crossroads of historic landmarks and 21st century urban planning. Development of the district responds to Mayor Menino’s mandate to reinvent the industrial South Boston waterfront as a platform for entrepreneurship.

Said David Feigenbaum, a principal at Fish & Richardson, “We are thrilled to be among the first companies doing business in the rapidly growing and flourishing Innovation District. ADD Inc really understood our firm’s vision and was able to capture it within our dynamic workplace using cutting edge design and concepts.”

The design of the office also responds to the unique demands of intergenerational convergence in the workplace.  Divergent work styles often place the firm’s staff of Baby Boomers and Millennials at odds and hinder communication.  Younger attorneys – though less reliant on support staff – often lose themselves in technology at the expense of human interaction and valuable learning opportunities.  In response, ADD Inc devised solutions based on these different styles to foster collaboration across the generational divide.

Varied support spaces include a flexible, two-story reception and conference center that expands providing a flexible event and function space. The design also marks a shift away from traditional law libraries to electronic information management.  The library is now an open and inviting reading and research area.

All throughout the building, natural light pours in through walls of glass, which also maximize views of the ocean and city. Shared collaborative spaces serve as common work areas, facilitate impromptu interaction, and encourage socialization.

ADD Inc designed the office to include materials and details that pay homage to Fish & Richardson’s rich history and corporate culture. The iconic staircase, with its Corian base and basaltina treads, references a fish’s back bones rising out of a glacial body of water. Light fixtures in the cafeteria bring to mind sequences of human DNA and underscore the firm’s contribution to advancements in biomedical science. In conference rooms, pendant lights feature a hologram of the light bulb designed by Thomas Edison, one of the firm’s earliest clients.

The design fuses collaboration and a commitment to creative thinking to produce one of the most innovative and functional law firm spaces in the Northeast.

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