MMM Puts On A Fresh Look
Renovation of Buckhead law offices ditches traditional dark wood for open views, contemporary style
The partners of Morris Manning & Martin decided it was time for a total renovation of the firm's offices in Buckhead's Atlanta Financial Center when it renewed its lease in 2011 on the space it has occupied since 1987. Almost two years in the making, the new look is spare, open and contemporary—a big change from the former traditional law firm decor with dark wood paneling and crown molding.
Beige walls, white marble and blond wood floors provide a neutral backdrop for exterior glass walls with views of Buckhead, punctuated by splashes of color from the contemporary art and furnishings. Accent walls in the firm's signature orange add warmth.
Formerly enclosed conference rooms on the main reception floors are now walled in glass, allowing natural light and a clear view to the outside, and the main staircase connecting the floors has been opened up. (Retractable screens lower at the touch of a button in conference rooms to provide privacy when needed.)
"We wanted to make it open and light," said G. Brian Butler. "It was very dark before, with lots of dark wood."
Butler, a real estate partner, and Ward Bondurant, a corporate partner, co-chaired the design committee, which met weekly after the firm renewed its lease. The outside design firm for the common areas was Gensler. The build-out started in summer 2012 and was completed in May.
Morris Manning also gave a contemporary makeover to its Washington office, which moved into new digs in July at 1401 I Street on Franklin Square, near the White House.
Butler said he got involved because he likes architecture, and Bondurant said he likes puzzles.
"The challenge of this building is that it's not square. It's not a rectangle either. It's a trapezoid," Bondurant said. The firm is located in the complex's East Tower. "Getting square offices into a floor plan with no right angles was a challenge."
The renovation was an opportunity to reorganize the space, which had expanded from two floors to seven as the firm grew, resulting in a hodgepodge.