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A special commission from BVN Donovan Hill for the Herbert Smith Freehills office place fit-out has seen the iconic Hiroshima Armchair and Lounge Chair produced by Maruni.



January 1st, 2014

The Hiroshima range of chairs from Maruni is renowned for its elegant and iconic form. Designed by Naoto Fukasawa, the Hiroshima is brought to life by the skilled craftsmanship and highly refined production processes for which Maruni is renowned.

Harnessing Maruni’s expert furniture manufacturing capabilities, design firm BVN Donovan Hill recently commissioned more than 500 Hiroshima Armchairs and Lounge Chairs for the fit-out of Herbert Smith Freehills’ new headquarters in Sydney.

“I’d always known about the Hiroshima, which is a beautifully crafted chair,” says project director, Todd Hammond of BVN Donovan Hill.


“When we started doing the concepts for Herbert Smith Freehills, it became clear we needed a flexible planning solution.”

Hammond and team devised an office system that operated as a pavilion of sorts, with doors that slide together to create a private pod, and “dissolve” away to open it out.


“This office pod is almost like a piece of joinery in itself; it’s crafted by Unifor in Milan and features Cherry Wood in the design,” says Hammond.

Looking to match the timber throughout the project Hammond – with the assistance of Maruni’s Australian dealer, SeehoSu – concluded the Hiroshima (which is produced in Oak, Beech and Walnut) to be the best match for the unique Herbert Smith Freehills fit-out.

“The Hiroshima has this raw, unlacquered finish to it, which gives it this beautiful finish that feels like silk to touch,” says Hammond.


Located within the new office development at 161 Castlereagh Street in Sydney’s CBD, the Herbert Smith Freehills office is not only a Green Star rated fit-out but represents a new generation working environment for the law firm.

Careful office planning has seen many of the law firm’s senior members opt to work side-by-side with their teams in open-plan workstation situations, rather than taking up private offices.


“There is a consistency of quality for everyone,” says Hammond, which has been pivotal in bringing teams more closely together.

When it came to selecting a meeting chair for the office, around a dozen options were considered but – “we always came back to the Hiroshima”, says Hammond.

“In my mind the perfect chair was always the Hiroshima [Armchair].”

The Hiroshima Armchair and Hiroshima Lounge Chair by Naoto Fukasawa for Maruni is available in Australia through SeehoSu.


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