“For us, it was an opportunity to have large, bright spaces and views while attending to the small details like textures, fabrics, and finishes,” Barnhart said. “It got the committee very excited, and their enthusiasm was the launching pad for us to generate even more enthusiasm. We used this phrase to establish the finishes starting from your first step inside the front door. But we applied it outside, too, so when you get out of a car or walk out of Union Station, you see McDermott Will & Emery—and you are drawn to it.”
The building is different from the immediate architecture around the block. The glass building sets it apart, even without signage, which is grand yet blended within landscaping outside the front door. The marble floors and other finishes seen through the windows from the street harken to the architecture and design of Union Station across the street.
It both fits in, yet stands out and makes a statement.
Said Bob Fox, publisher of Work Design Magazine, “Stepping inside this space, you sense an air of lightness and collaboration. From the ground-floor Waterworks space—which is a homage to the Washington Office founding managing partners, Tim Waters and Chuck Work, who collaborated informally while building MWE during its earliest days—to the wifi-enabled roof deck, the MWE space clearly is forging its own path. It shows other law offices what ‘designing for the future’ looks like.”