"It’s a once in a generation move for HSF and it has worked out perfectly so much better than I could have hoped"
Julie Couch, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills
NSW, Australia
January 2010 - July 2013
Full interior design services
  • 20,000m² NLA
  • Design Maximises Sight Lines to the Water Views to the East
  • Horizontal and Vertical Fire Curtains Facilitate the use of the Distinctive Curved Form on the Internal Voids and Stair
  • BVN Custom Designed Certain Pieces of Fit-out Furniture, including the Marble Dining Table
  • Greater Levels of Client Integration; Clients can see into Staff Floors, and be Invited into the Informal Staff Café Space on Level 33
  • Arranging Client and Entertaining Facilities over Three Floors Provides a Point of Difference to the HSF Workplace Compared to the Traditional Legal Model of using a Whole Floor for Client Related Purposes
  • The Design Values all HSF Employees, with no Significant Difference in Quality of Finishes between Client and Working Floors, and Providing Equitable Access to Views, Light, and Highest Quality End of Trip Facilities
  • BVN Worked Closely with Both Base Building Developer Grocon and Project Manager Lend Lease to Deliver this Complex Project

Sustainable legal workplace that reflects the firm’s leading position and facilitates greater internal connectivity and client interaction.

The Herbert Smith Freehills workplace reflects the firm’s position as a leading international legal firm. Comprising 13 levels in the new 161 Castlereagh Street tower in Sydney’s CBD, the tenancy is designed to provide a contemporary, sustainable workplace that values staff wellbeing, promotes teamwork, and reinforces the culture of the organisation.

Housing over 900 staff, the office fit-out provides 18sqm per person in a hybrid accommodation model using modular offices. Reflecting a departure from traditional legal models of accommodation, offices are located away from the perimeter, affording equitable access to daylight for all staff. At the centre of the design is a distinctive internal void and stair connecting all levels of the tenancy. Both embody sinuous, organically curved forms and are staggered across the various levels rather than aligned; providing constantly changing perspectives into the workplace. The main break-out areas are located around this central hub, together with a range of meeting spaces supplementing the client facilities.

The primary client reception is located centrally on level 34. Here there are a range of meeting rooms and spaces with the focus being the stunning water views and the internal views of the tenancy through the 13 storey void. Supplementing this floor is the more exclusive meeting area on level 35 with private dining facilities, as well as the unique staff café and knowledge centre on level 33.



Herbert Smith Freehills
Bovis Lend Lease
Project Manager and ESD Consultant
Structural Engineering
Fire Engineering
Mechanical, Electrical, Communications, and AV Engineering
LHO Group
Hydraulic Engineering
Acoustic Logic Consultancy
Acoustic Engineering
Base Building Developer
Lend Lease
Cost Consultant
Mackenzie Group
Private Certifier
Cini Little Australia
Commercial Kitchen
Cato Partners
Space Smart Systems
Barbara Flynn
RAIA NSW Interior Architecture Award
NSW, Australia