As the DC-based head of the law-firm group at the design consultancy Gensler, Steve Martin is eliminating the dark-wood paneling and cavernous partner offices that once characterized Washington firms. Much of the changing aesthetic has been economy-driven—for example, the trend toward smaller offices—and Gensler has adapted its designs seamlessly. In recent projects for firms such as Fried Frank, Holland & Knight, and McDermott Will & Emery, Martin’s team has created modern, light-filled, energy-efficient spaces.
For Martin, the best compliment came from one of Fried Frank’s clients, who—thinking there was no way he was in a law firm—returned to the building’s security desk to ask for the correct floor.
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