28,449 sq ft




Professional Services


26 weeks

The new home of Shoosmiths in Birmingham, delivers a stunning, hybrid workplace destination for the law firm within one of the UK’s most exciting new developments.

We have designed and fit out 28,449 sq ft across the 11th, 12th and 20th floors of the state-of-the-art 103 Colmore Row in the heart of the city’s business district.

From its impressive arrival experience to an incredible variety of flexible spaces, this is a space like no other, with a hospitality feel that surprises and delights on every level.

Shoosmiths is the law firm clients choose for excellent service, incisive thinking and above all for its ability to focus on what matters.

From offices across the UK and Brussels, the firm supports some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious businesses; amazing clients making an impact.

Shoosmiths empowers its people to be their authentic selves and deliver together in supportive teams committed to excellence and innovation. The firm has won prestigious industry awards and has been recognised for being the most active law firm advising on corporate transactions across the UK (Experian, 2022).

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As an ambitious firm, fast growing in its chosen markets, Shoosmiths announced its intention to relocate its Birmingham office in early 2022.

The move to Grade A office space at the BCO award-winning 103 Colmore Row reflected the firm’s innovative and client-focused approach. The 223,631 sq ft building boasts a mix of top class offices and high-quality amenity spaces – including a two-storey, top-floor restaurant and ground floor café – as well as a range of technological innovations.

We knew that the project was big news for Birmingham, with such a pre-eminent law firm establishing its new home in the city’s most iconic new development.

Our brief was to deliver a shining example of post-pandemic working, including creating a ‘destination office space’ fit for a hybrid environment, where clients and colleagues could do business.

To achieve that goal, the final design would need to be much more than just an ‘office space’, instead it would need to represent a new home that embodied Shoosmiths’ identity, culture and values.

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This is an extraordinarily light, open and creative workspace that tells a story, not only about Shoosmiths but about its people, clients and the city of Birmingham it calls home.

It delivers a luxurious, hospitality-style experience that is blended and organic, and refuses to conform to traditional demarcations between office and breakout space - Shoosmiths employees are empowered to choose how and where to work and socialise.

Even the shape of its meeting rooms - none of which are square - are joyously free from convention.

The workspace also showcases detailed joinery and opulent jewellery features reflective of Birmingham’s industrial heritage. The highlight is a breathtaking 80 metre metal ‘ribbon’, created by internationally renowned sculptor David Begbie following a year-long collaboration with Shoosmiths and Office Principles North.

All three floors are connected by a fluid, open plan and collaborative layout reflective of the city’s world-famous waterways. Flexible, multipurpose spaces are used to support a variety of activities, including a townhall area which doubles as an event and training space and a daytime coffee bar for hosting evening entertainment. Meeting rooms, call pods and refreshment facilities have been designed to promote inclusivity by catering for people with physical disabilities, with quiet ‘snug’ areas offering space for focused work - all featuring the latest acoustic properties.

What is especially striking is the way that the design stimulates the senses, with touch, smell, sight, taste and sound all carefully catered for. A natural, sophisticated colour palette is complemented by tactile comforts, plush velvets, polished plaster, warm timbers and mood lighting. There is also a combination of bespoke, handcrafted furniture to allow people to sit or stand to suit their needs.

The effect is a space for all, where equality and neurodiversity are celebrated in the workplace and where everyone can realise their potential.

Sustainability is also key feature of the workspace, supporting Shoosmiths’ ambition to be carbon net zero (scopes 1 and 2) by 2025. Planting features prominently across the space, with sunset and sunrise gardens on the uppermost floors that take inspiration from former winners of the Chelsea Flower Show and offer some of the best views of Birmingham’s skyline. There are even meeting rooms ‘without a view’ in the building’s core for those who are not disposed to heights.

Drag to compare before and after.

Shoosmiths Before Sketch Shoosmiths After

Delivering a project of this scale inevitably posed significant challenges. The logistics of the building for instance, with other contractors on site, meant that our programme had to be tightly managed at all times.

There were other technical challenges too, such as integrating the new lighting scheme into the building’s existing system. While connecting the 11th and 12th floors required the creation of a huge staircase and a new passenger lift, with steelworks moved, ground broken and sprinklers relocated.

The completed workspace is a shining example of what the office of the future looks like, with an environment focused on the health and wellbeing of occupants and a design that delivers synergy between brand, people and place.

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This exceptional workplace successfully blurs the lines between work and home and delivers a truly memorable experience for Shoosmiths’ colleagues and clients alike - with lots of places and features to discover across all three floors. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Alex Bishop, Beth McArdle and Simon Taylor at Shoosmiths to design and deliver a modern, flexible workspace that truly has people, hospitality and choice at its heart. It’s a warm, accessible and inclusive environment that reflects and celebrates the very best of Birmingham’s past and present.

Tina Batham, Joint Managing Director of Office Principles North