Perhejuristit Kokko & Kuusiluoma
A family law office based in the historical center of Helsinki, Finland.
A law practice specialized in family matters wished to open their second office in a very central location in Kruununhaka, Helsinki, a historical part of the city with intimate cafés, restaurants and antique shops. The neighbourhood, with its humane scale together with its hilly, sunny streets with long views towards the sea invite Helsinki residents as well as tourists to enjoy beautiful walks between the neo-classical architecture and housing blocks.
The family lawyers wish to be close to their clients to help them out in any possible everyday situations, breaking stereotypes conventionally related to law firms. The threshold to enter their office space was thus kept to a bare minimum. The space is located on street level, and a comfortable ambience was created to welcome the clients to enter and talk to the lawyers about their joys and sorrows.
The centrepiece of the space is a large wooden table, inviting clients to have a seat at the table together with the lawyers - exactly like in traditional Finnish cottages, where life evolved around the large table and its benches. The law firm wishes to resolve all matters through open discussion and negotiation instead of fighting. A home-like feeling was boosted by the use of a haptic sisal carpet, encouraging the clients to take off their shoes. No barriers exist between the client and the lawyer - the latter becomes a confidant.
The space is inhabited only by the essential elements: solid tables, comfortable chairs, a pleasant light. The large wooden tables are made of Finnish pine by cabinetmaker Martin Born. The sturdy yet light Merano chairs are by Ton. The adjustable, warm led lights by Flos caress the wooden surfaces. The sisal carpet by Tasibel ties the spatial elements together thanks to its natural surface texture of interwoven agave fibres.
The full-brick facade of the space together with its windows had undergone several modifications during the past decades. The façade was restored to reveal its original design. Indoors, the original wall surfaces were hiding behind layers of plasterboard and non-hygroscopic materials accumulated in the course of the years. The extra layers were all removed to let the massive brick walls breathe. The original division of the space was reconstructed and the interior surfaces of the massive brick walls were left untouched. All added elements such as electrical cables and radiators are black in colour, in contrast to their white background. Only natural materials were used in the renovation.