Goodwin, now a firm with over 1,000 attorneys in 10 offices across the globe, opened its headquarters in Boston over a century ago. With expertise in corporate law, litigation, and regulatory advisory services, this organization has assisted with everything from buyouts and acquisitions, to intellectual property, to cybersecurity. When in need of an updated workplace to call their own, Goodwin relied on architects at BH+A to design a space that balances the perfect line between welcoming and private, expansive yet centralized. Acentech assisted the architect in creating this 370,000 SF, 11.5 floor central office in the heart of the blossoming Seaport District.

Goodwin’s Boston Offices, occupying the majority of the complex at 100 Northern Avenue, houses a wide spectrum of spaces integral to the needs of a multi-national firm. Typical private offices and administrative areas aside, this space sports an expansive law library, a welcoming lobby with harbor-front views, and high tech conference rooms. One area of particular focus for acoustics design involved ensuring speech privacy for attorneys when meeting with clients. Acentech assisted in the design of walls, ceilings, and even mechanical systems to ensure proper sound isolation. The law library, often an area for focused research and document recovery, features floor-to-ceiling glass panels separating it from a communal gathering space. To allow these different spaces to live in harmony with one another, designers needed to pay close attention to the acoustical design of both areas. From room treatments to glass panel installation, each detail required a true understanding of how to develop better acoustics for both environments.

When considering each of the essential spaces in Goodwin’s Boston Offices, conference rooms required particularly expert guidance on how to design the most acoustically comfortable conditions. Those within the world of litigation know that it demands an extensive amount of communication with all parties involved in any given process. However designing a great conference room is more than simply setting up cameras and mircophones in a room. After all, even the most advanced audiovisual systems cannot compensate for poor acoustical design of a space. Although virtually all companies with telepresence areas must understand the impact details like room shape and reflective surfaces play in how one’s voice sounds on the other end of the call, this consideration rings particularly true for law offices. When communication is key, better acoustical design often yields spaces that are easier and more welcoming to use.

Inside an office with proper acoustical design, those working at Goodwin can focus on communicating with clients and colleagues instead of bothersome chatter coming from down the hallway.

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