When one of Australia’s oldest and most respected independent law firms secured a 2,000m2 lease for their brand-new workplace, McCormack and Studio 103 were so grateful to be involved.

A mix of heritage and new architecture, the three buildings spoke to Cornwalls’ deep connection to Melbourne and the very origins of the firm over 130 years ago. Comprised of 90 Queen Street, 380 Collins and 100 Queen Street, the significant footprint enabled Studio 103 to consider the past, present and future of the firm, developing a design language that represented the ideals and philosophy of the company in wonderfully apt surrounds.

From the very first meeting, the connection was instantaneous. We invested time to truly understand who Cornwalls were, where they wanted to go, and how we could help them get there. They allowed us to take care of their vision and transform their new space into one which would truly provide the type of environment where their people could thrive and could call home, which was such an important part of the brief.

It was an absolute privilege to work with a CEO who was adamant that his entire organisation should be able to contribute to the ideas and creation of their new space. From staff surveys to group discussions, we lead Lev through a process of design development with Studio103 and his team that was truly collaborative in nature. We compiled a thorough vision survey, providing an opportunity for staff to rank their priorities like functionality, collaboration, socialisation, remote working, professional development, mentoring, and spatial mapping for individual and team needs.

Staff became engaged in the process, meeting the vision survey with genuine enthusiasm and a high-response rate, which was a testament to the importance of this process in the initial phases of the project. Every small or large idea was thoroughly researched and surveyed including a keep-toss-create from the old to the new.

Encompassing the beautiful gothic arches throughout the facade and their atrium spaces, the Queen and Collins precinct’s own design presented itself as the perfect foundation for Cornwalls to call home.

The Cornwalls project is incredibly unique in that it spans over three interconnected buildings, each with their own beginnings and character that bring their own architectural language into the interior. We provided a holistic Design and construct solution with Studio 103 to create and build synergies between the spaces, working to align the architecture of the existing space while finding opportunities to enhance and refine its heritage attributes.

Their story starts the moment you step into the precinct. The building’s origins align with that of how Cornwalls first began, dating back to 1891, appreciating how far they’ve come and provides an opportunity for them to explore their future aspirations.