New Boise Law Office Bucks Convention, Sets Area Design Standard

Posted: 06/12/2014 9:45AM

 

Boise is known for its Western flavor and beautiful scenery. It’s also home to one of the most innovative office designs in the region.

When it came time to design the new Boise office for law firm Holland & Hart, designer Gillian Hallock Johnson, LEED AP, and a principal at Burkettdesign in Denver, looked no further than her client for inspiration.

“You can’t do a great design without a great client,” said Johnson, who has designed several of the law firm’s western regional locations.  “In this case it also took a great developer with an appreciation for inspired design.  The firm’s previous Boise office was traditional and very closed-in, so for its new space Holland & Hart was looking for something transformational and open. The firm stepped out on a limb and produced a space for the next generation of lawyers—one that will be talked about for decades to come.”

The office, which shares the top two floors of the new Zions Bank Building in Boise, accomplished its mission by using an abundance of natural light and leveraging the spectacular panoramic views.

However, the detailed architectural millwork, made with Timber Products Company material, is one of the strongest architectural expressions in the design scheme.

“The millwork really defines the personality of the space,” noted Johnson. “In particular, the beautiful spine wall that runs through the middle of the office and spans two floors makes a monumental statement. It creates a powerful sweeping gesture that articulates the main circulation. At the same time, the warmth of the wood element connects with human nature and fits in nicely with the natural beauty of the city.”

The spine wall, made from 177 sheets of quarter-sawn maple and quarter-sawn ash hardwood plywood from Timber Products’ southern Oregon mills, is the centerpiece of an architectural millwork plan that left no detail overlooked.

Distributor Intermountain Wood Products in Boise delivered the Timber Products Company hardwood plywood material for the law office project. For the wall, Western Idaho Cabinets added the horizontal tongue-and-groove elements to the panels and also prefinished the surfaces. Then, Bledsoe Construction, the main contractor of the project, installed the panels.

“Mixing species on the spine wall was a unique design choice,” said Kalon Partridge, distribution center manager at Intermountain Wood Products. “Hardwood plywood was a great solution for the feature and Bledsoe was very pleased with the material that came from Timber Products Company.”

Intermountain ordered 410 additional sheets of hardwood plywood for casework, ceilings and faux beams in the office. According to Johnson, the other wood products-based elements all play off of the spine wall.

“We made sure that the millwork craftsmanship was of the highest quality,” said Johnson. “The client had a very high standard for design, and the materials needed to be the best quality possible.”

After eight weeks of construction, the new office opened in early 2014 with rave reviews.

“The reaction from the local community has been phenomenal,” said Johnson. “We’ve heard only positive feedback and the law firm is very pleased. There’s nothing else like this office in the entire city.”

From the production side, Partridge said the process was challenging but that the material, and the service from Timber Products Company, helped the project stay on schedule.

“Ordering and receiving the material from Timber Products was a smooth experience,” he shared. “We were under some pretty rigorous deadlines and often had to split press runs so we could get the right quantities of each species. But we always received what we needed and all the species matched every time. The customer was pleased, the design was impressive and everyone was happy with the finished project.”


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