Sulloway and Hollis is a respected and venerable Concord law firm, strategically located across the street from the capitol building. With 160 years of history, the firm’s image was well established; unfortunately, part of that image was formed by tired furnishings, worn carpeting, and a general air of fustiness, which they felt was holding them back from their full potential. SMP was chosen for this renovation project largely on the strength of similar work we had just completed for the Concord law firm of Shaheen and Gordon.
The firm also operated an annex building across the street with two added twists: an old bowling alley in the basement, and an informal art gallery in the firm’s suite of meeting rooms. Within the main building, our client wanted to brighten up the long, dark corridors, bring in some natural light, and make a through-connecting lobby that linked the capitol side in the front with parking access in the rear. Aside from significant structural modifications, this concept required a way to open up the fire stairs at the end of each corridor.
SMP used a large fire shutter to bisect the open lobby in the event of a fire, allowing safe passage to the outside. This allowed a decorative stair to become a main feature of the lobby, with plenty of internal glazing bringing daylight into the various meeting rooms and support areas used by visitors. In the annex building, we proposed a facelift for the public entrance to the gallery/meeting room suite, and the basement bowling alley was converted to a law library with natural light provided via window wells along the walkway. The plentiful columns that graced this basement space were re-clad and turned into a design feature. Together with Milestone Construction, we were able to keep the project under budget by 12 percent.
By opening up the building core, reconfiguring the main stairway, and using interior glazing we achieved a bright and cheery environment. Through the use of natural materials such as cherry, bamboo, and granite, the lobby has a sense of sophistication while maintaining a timeless look.
Principal, SMP Architecture