Zashin & Rich.
Cleveland-based law firm Zashin & Rich has a rock ‘n roll attitude atypical for most law offices. The firm believes Cleveland and its rich history (particularly music) are a genuine and impactful identity and want their business to reflect the character of the hardworking, diverse, welcoming and talented nature of the “rock ‘n roll capital of the world.” Tired of a space that provided poor working conditions and little personality, the firm took advantage of the end of their lease and embraced the opportunity to relocate to a space that would respect and celebrate Cleveland’s past but also the renaissance of the Rust Belt City, and ultimately decided to move to the new Ernst & Young Tower in the Flats East Bank.
The firm challenged the design team to create a space inspired by Cleveland’s long history of music, asking for an elegant, modern and not too kitschy design, using the Sex Pistols’ neon yellow and pink “Never Mind the Bollocks” album cover as their inspiration. They wanted the space to disengage the preconceived notions of a law office both in function as well as appearance, helping the law firm to attract young, smart new hires to the city and create a sense of excitement for employees and clients.
There are no doors and almost no ceilings in the space, creating a feeling of openness while maintaining the appropriate scale of intimacy needed by a professional law practice. Unlike many law firms, Zashin tends to work in large groups and spends a great deal of time together as a company. The flexibility of the space encourages this cultural value. The space is divided into community areas (lobby, café, conference rooms and small huddle areas) and more private spaces (offices and war rooms). Rather than focusing on hierarchy, the firm provides the same amenities to everyone and the new office space reflects this sense of equality.