Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins was established in 1934 in Los Angeles and is now one of the largest law firms in the world. With more than 2,000 employees and 32 offices worldwide, they have a significant presence internationally, and yet they still maintain deep roots in the Southern California market. When they decided to update their offices, they approached Gensler and Howard Building Corporation to complete two new office build outs simultaneously, one in Los Angeles and one in Orange County. With presence in both locations, Gensler and HBC seamlessly provided service and delivered two separate and significantly impressive projects.
The Los Angeles project spans 13 floors and 385,000 square feet in the premier Wells Fargo Tower in Downtown. The first three floors of the office are dedicated to the conference center, where extensive training and client meetings occur. Private offices occupy the floors above. With expansive ceiling heights on the first and second floors, an entirely separate two story mezzanine structure was built inside the space. The structural framing was hidden beneath finished walls and glazing, giving the appearance of an entirely floating structure within the space. Adjacent to the structure is a three story interconnecting stairway, which also rises through structural openings between floors.
To accommodate the conference center, a restaurant-grade kitchen and dining room were built. Also notable is the inclusion of a Pete's Coffee & Tea café within the office. To encourage attorneys to meet more informally, the firm brought the well-known coffee company into the space and incorporated it into the larger design using consistent finishes and design elements. Stonework, glass and extensive wood millwork defined the overall finishes throughout the office, and Pete's Coffee & Tea was willing to adapt those finishes to the café as well.
At the time of construction, the building's lobby was also under renovation, and the building was so full of tradesmen and women that a separate door was dedicated to getting them in and out of the building. The building's loading dock, where materials were received, remained fully operational 24 hours a day, every day for the duration of the project. Coordination and scheduling became critical to maintain the flow of materials and labor in and out of the project site.
After interviewing a number of qualified contractors, my team and I were most impressed with the Howard Building team. HBC was the only contractor who did the homework in order to identify our single biggest logistics challenge: daily processing and shuttling of 700 workers using one freight elevator. Additionally, they arranged an off-site parking scheme so that all sub-contractor employees had easy access to downtown LA and the jobsite. I can confidently recommend HBC as a solid and reliable construction company and experts in their field.