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Indesign Magazine
Indesign Magazine

Sophistication over size at Norton Legal

Being small in size doesn’t mean quality or sophistication needs to be sacrificed as we discover in this petite commercial project – Norton Legal by Dreamer.

  • Curtains help to divide the space.

  • A breakout spot doubles as a versatile space for kids to watch TV after school.



BY Aleesha Callahan

February 9th, 2018


Set within an existing industrial building in Melbourne’s inner west, the new fit-out for Norton Legal may clock in at just 76-square-metres but makes up for the size in its quality of finish.

As a contemporary law firm, Norton Legal was looking for a modest refit while needing to meet all its needs. Local design practice Dreamer was brought on board and delivered to the tight spatial requirements.

Stained plywood, concrete and semi-translucent materials have been used to create a refined palette.

The fit-out includes a series of work areas, a meeting room, entry and reception area, printing and archival spaces as well as a breakout area. Another thoughtful addition is a place for kids to hang out after school.

Given the tight constraints on available floor space, many of the programmatic requirements were merged to provide flexibility and multiple uses. One example of this was foregoing a traditional reception area and creating a combined meeting room/entry/waiting area, which is dividable by a curtain to offer a sense of privacy when needed. In addition, the breakout area also doubles as a place for children to watch TV after school.

A breakout spot doubles as a versatile space for kids to watch TV after school.

A limited budget meant only selective insertions of new built structures were possible along with modest material selections that could be creatively detailed and dealt with to achieve the desired warm and sophisticated outcome. Plywood was stained and fluorescent light fittings were painted black.

Curtains help to divide the space.

With four key staff members that are often on the phone simultaneously, talking about sensitive information, sound attenuation was a key consideration. To combat this, a selection of both translucent and solid curtains were used, which add a layer of softness while serving a valuable function. They also provide flexibility in how the spaces can be split, setting up veiled views throughout the intimate space.

We think you would also enjoy this workplace fit-out for Yamaha Music.

Photography by Ben Shields.

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