A new home for the world's oldest law firm
Established in 1570, Thomson Snell and Passmore are the world’s oldest law firm still in operation but after outgrowing their outdated and disjointed offices in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells, it was time for a new home. Heathervale House, just a stone’s throw away from TS&P’s existing premises was set to be redeveloped and expanded, and was identified as the perfect property to support TS&P’s growth and change leading up to their 450th anniversary.
After being appointed at an extremely early stage of the redevelopment project, we were able to significantly influence the developer’s Cat A design for the benefit of TS&P, as Heathervale House was extended both vertically and horizontally to create 27,00sqft of net office accommodation.
Coming from a traditional cellular working environment, the brief was to create a modern flexible workspace with a new emphasis on communication and collaboration. We planned each working floor to be open and communal whilst retaining areas offering much needed privacy for lawyers. Equally, TS&P now also enjoy a range of formal and informal gathering places for both pre-arranged and spontaneous meetings which promotes inter-departmental and individual interactions, signalling a major change and modernisation in the way the company work.
A walk through the working floors now reveals a quiet buzz; a sense of calm efficiency where colleagues are close at hand yet provided with the means of concentration through the installation of high performing acoustic surfaces and smart strategic space planning. The business now benefits from the flexibility in layout to accommodate future headcount growth and team reconfiguration in a way that was never before possible in their previous traditional offices.