Weeks before stay-at-home orders were enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Katten moved the location of its Dallas offices from Comerica Bank Tower to Park District’s PwC Tower in Uptown Dallas. At a time when businesses around the country were determining what the new standard for offices would look like in the wake of the pandemic, Katten created a sophisticated, collaborative and sustainable work environment in Dallas that was featured in D CEO Magazine in June.
According to Dallas office Managing partner, Mark Solomon, being aware of future changes to workspaces allowed Katten to quickly adapt to social distancing guidelines and ensure a more safe work environment.
Katten first expanded its offices in Texas to Dallas in February 2018, adding seven new corporate partners focused on private equity work. The new Dallas office occupies two floors (a total of 56,340 square feet) and has around 50 attorneys practicing across several areas of law, including private equity, finance, mergers and acquisitions, health care, white collar, real estate, corporate and litigation.
“For us, it was an opportunity to set the reset button. We saw this space, and we said, ‘let’s make a statement. Let’s have the ability to do whatever we want here,’” Mark said. “We wanted to have a place where we could bring people in, and they say, ‘hey, I want to work here.’”
Global design and architecture firm, Gensler, designed the new office with the intent to create a collegial, creative and transparent environment. The new office’s flexible layout includes wider hallways, various types of workspaces, modular tables and Skywall retractable glass walls that allow for spaces to be opened up or closed.
“All this stuff can be moved. We can keep every room empty in a heartbeat. It’s great,” Mark explained.
The innovative design allows people to avoid close interaction by allowing foot traffic to flow in one direction and people to sit six feet apart in offices or common areas. Additionally, the latest audiovisual systems improve remote collaboration with attorneys, business professionals and clients who continue to work remotely.
Other important aspects of the new office’s design include incorporating natural elements, like Japanese maple trees, integrated planters and panoramic views of the park to offer a calm and therapeutic setting, as well as various pieces of art, including one in particular that is by a local artist, and a favorite of Mark’s, called “Freezing Rain.”
While employees have the ability to work remotely, the new Dallas office’s safe, flexible and creative work environment aims to encourage people to come into the office.
“It adds much to the environment in the office when we see people here every day,” Mark said. “If you’re building a culture, you want people to spend time together as much as you can.”
Read, “First Look: Katten Muchin Rosenman Moves Into Park District Office,” in its entirety.