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Moss & Barnett Customer Case Study

They had samples that we really liked, and,
more importantly, they listened to us.
That immediately knocked out most of
their competitors who wouldn’t listen.

A private office solution that features Medley Casegoods, Mara Guest Seating, and Porter Executive Seating in conference rooms.



Design Firm: HGA ARCHITECTS
​Location: MINNEAPOLIS, MN

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When Privacy is Key

When Privacy is Key

A move to a different space in downtown Minneapolis didn’t just mean new offices for the lawyers at Moss & Barnett. It also marked a much-needed furniture update for those offices.

“Our furniture was older,” says Moss & Barnett COO Kevin Busch. “Half of what we replaced was 50 years old, while the other half was roughly 25 years old. It was time.”​

Founded in 1896, Moss & Barnett specializes in accounting, business, employment, family, intellectual property, and real estate law, among other practices. The firm ranks among Minnesota’s 15 largest firms, based on the number of licensed attorneys in the state.

The 119-year-old law firm moved from 50,000 square feet of space in Minneapolis’ Wells Fargo Center to 39,000 square feet spanning two floors in the city’s Fifth Street Towers in August 2014. The move involved a full, down-to-the-studs renovation, allowing the firm to design a more efficient space to reflect the evolution of modern law practices, while providing the same level of service to its clients. It also helped provide its attorneys with offices that meet today’s technology requirements, including a full revamp of telephone and computer systems, in addition to upgraded casegoods in all 70 of its private offices.

“We were able to design a space that gives our lawyers and staff effective, private work areas,” Busch notes, adding that the lawyers requested private offices with enough room to accommodate small internal meetings, in addition to a central conference center for client meetings. “Private offices were key to our design needs.”

In fact, the debate with multiple vendors over private offices vs. a more open, collaborative environment is what led Moss & Barnett leaders to work with prominent office furniture dealer Henricksen in Minneapolis.

“We interviewed dozens of sales reps, who asked us questions about how we wanted our office to look, and even though we stressed the importance of private offices, most told us we needed more collaborative spaces,” Busch recalls. “Henricksen didn’t do that, and neither did the Gunlocke rep who sat in our first meeting. They had samples that we really liked, and, more importantly, they listened to us. That immediately knocked out most of their competitors who wouldn’t listen.”

Ultimately, through a series of such discussions with Henricksen and Gunlocke, Moss & Barnett decided to install Gunlocke’s Medley casegoods collections in all private offices. The collection worked within some design limitations of the offices—a clerestory running across the top section of the walls and door frame.

“Medley offered the right combination of aesthetics and function,” says Lori O’Donnell, the firm’s facilities manager. “It really looked like what we wanted our furniture to be and offered the right kind of storage for the offices in its lateral files in the credenzas. Before, they might have had three drawers in a metal file. Now they have four, built-in files. It really makes a difference.”

In an era where ergonomics and sit-to-stand desks are now part of the mainstream in the workplace, the move allowed the firm to address these issues through the casegoods installation in private attorney offices. All Medley configurations in Moss & Barnett’s private offices include a Gunlocke’s basic Medley credenza and a desk with a sit-to-stand feature that includes a Gunlocke top. Gunlocke now offers sit-to-stand functionality as an option on all of its casegoods collections, with the exception of Kensington.

“We did the sit-to-stand throughout the office and don’t regret it,” O’Donnell says. “We all have them now, and they’re wonderful.”

Smaller offices had one layout choice, while larger offices had a choice of two layout options in terms of positioning the unit in one of two directions in the space.

Beyond the basic layout options, lawyers were able to choose from an array of coordinating pieces from Gunlocke’s Medley collection to further personalize their offices, including cabinets and bookcases. It all came down to how much open space they wanted to have, Busch and O’Donnell say.

“Some of our lawyers initially brought along some of their old ancillary casegoods, but many of those now have been replaced with Medley pieces once they saw how great they looked and how well they suited the offices,” Busch says.

Gunlocke’s presence in the new Moss & Barnett headquarters doesn’t stop at casegoods. The firm selected the company’s Mara chairs as guest seating in all private offices. The Mara side chair offers a sleek, yet classic, affordable wood option for guest seating and complements the Medley casegoods in these offices. The firm also selected Gunlocke’s Porter chairs in a majority of the conference center’s meeting rooms.

“I have to say, Gunlocke offers very comfortable seating,” Busch notes. “We sat in a lot of sample chairs during the spec process, and all of the Gunlocke options were surprisingly comfortable and fit people of different heights quite well. It was gratifying to so easily find ones that were just right.”

 

THE RIGHT COMBINATION

Flexible, clean-lined Medley offers Gunlocke quality at an attractive price point. Durable construction, glass modesty panel options and a great range of worksurface shapes in this modular, unitized line are just a few of the elements in Medley’s appealing mix. Design-focused highlights of the collection include four wood species, eight edge profiles, 10 hardware styles, and 13 color finishes. All Medley products feature Gunlocke’s durable ClearTech® finish on worksurfaces.

 

THE BEAUTY OF WOOD

Wood accents are carried through the firm’s interior design. It is also the choice material for the conference room furniture. Porter Executive Seating follows suit, featuring wood accents that underscore the durable urethane arms.