The construction and finishing phase of the new Warsaw office of the CMS law firm, which is soon moving to Varso Tower, is underway. Comprehensive consulting and implementation in the process of creating the new CMS office – from choosing the location to the delivery of the space – is being handled by experts from JLL, a leader in real estate consulting in Poland, and Tétris, a JLL Group company specializing in Design and Build projects. Trzop Architekci design studio supervised the project during all stages.
Companies that build their position mainly on the quality of their relationships strive to create a work environment that fosters collaboration, stimulates creativity, provides a sense of freedom, and follows ESG standards. Regardless of trends, location remains a key factor in office choice. An attractive new office building has appeared recently on the office map of Warsaw – Varso Tower, owned by developer HB Reavis. It is currently the tallest skyscraper in the European Union. CMS has decided to lease five floors in the building – from the 39th to the 43rd – with a total area of 7,000 sqm. Experts from the consulting firm JLL guided CMS through the entire process – from negotiation and leasing through adapting the space to the company’s needs as an employer, and are now responsible for certification to confirm the exceptional quality of the well-being and sustainability solutions used. The construction of the office in the Design and Build model was entrusted to JLL Group company Tétris – supported by Trzop Architekci studio at the detailed design stage, who also developed the functional layouts and office space concept for CMS.
CMS is one of the largest law firms in Poland and has offices in 43 countries worldwide. The decision to relocate the Warsaw headquarters is linked to, among other things, the law firm’s innovative approach to building a work environment that focuses on social relationships inside and outside the organization, employee well-being, client needs, and concern for the environment. The new office fully reflects the above values – all stages of the consulting, design and implementation process were carried out in the spirit of cooperation and the desire to create an exceptional space adapted to the dynamically changing market.
CMS law firm approached us with a need to make a real revolution in the approach to their office space. The client wanted not only a change of location, but more importantly, a new space that supported a company culture focused on caring for the health and well-being of employees and building internal and external relationships. As an advocate of ESG, JLL places the creation of a modern and welcoming work environment at the center of its efforts, so we were happy to be involved in the project. It exemplifies JLL’s comprehensive approach to serving clients – we advised the law firm on office selection, lease negotiation, and are responsible for project management and certification, as well as design and fit-out work in cooperation with the Tétris team. In turn, JLL’s Workplace Advisory & Change Management department prepared a responsive office change strategy for CMS, which is reflected in the continuation of the ‘cultureplace’ strategy developed by CMS in the last few years.
Edyta Stromidło, director, project & development services at JLL
As a result of the entire process, the CMS law firm decided to lease space in Varso Tower. In addition to the issue of location, it was also important for the law firm that the managers of the building will apply for BREEAM Interim certification at the highest level – “Outstanding”, and also WELL (shell & core) certification, which only a few buildings or spaces in Poland achieved. CMS plans to go one step further and additionally meet the requirements of this certification on its leased space as well.
The certification was a priority for us, already at the initial stage of planning the new office. As an organization, we are still evolving. We already have so many well-established elements of our organizational culture that it was time to confirm the quality of our proposed work environment with certifications. With BREEAM, we know that we care about ecology already at the construction stage, with the assurance that proper materials are used in the office. The WELL certification, on the other hand, confirms our focus on how employees and clients will feel in these spaces. The WELL guidelines help support the education of the users of space about how they can better care for workplace well-being.
Beata Kępowicz, director of operations at the CMS
It’s a forward-thinking, trend-setting approach, characteristic of the most mature organizations that place ESG among their priorities. Concern for the well-being of employees, customers, and the environment are elements that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of businesses.
WELL certification is a testament to our concern for broadly understood sustainability, primarily in the social aspect, and an excellent tool for bringing the issue of caring for employees to the next level. By entrusting us with the management of the certification process at an early stage, we were able to propose to CMS the optimal strategy for implementing the WELL guidelines and oversee its implementation at every stage. In addition, the involvement of JLL’s diverse team on behalf of CMS allows for exceptionally smooth implementation of the certification requirements in all activities related to the process of preparing the new office and the relocation.
Wojciech Tworek, WELL AP at JLL
The conceptual stage combining CMS’ values and the high standards set by WELL and BREEAM certifications in creating a working environment in the spirit of respect for the world around us was quite a challenge for the architects.
From our first meetings and participation in the WORKPLACE workshop, we knew that we were in for an incredible experience in creating an exceptional office space. By bringing us in at such an early stage of the process, we were able to identify CMS’ needs more precisely, which significantly accelerated the work on the functional layouts of the space.
The Trzop Architekci design team: Bartosz Trzop, Magdalena Antończyk, Michel Juraszyński, Marta Janiszek.
The Design and Build phase of the new CMS office was handled by Tétris, part of the JLL group. In the fit-out of the office – in addition to meeting certification requirements – several unconventional challenges awaited the project managers. The law firm has leased floors 39th to 43rd, and all of them will be connected to each other by a specially designed, unique staircase. A distinctive feature of the office will become a vertical garden, which will be the highest-situated green wall in Poland.
We designed the office together with Trzop Architekci studio. We rearranged the entire space, based on the results of CMS’ joint work with JLL experts on the optimal layout of the space to meet the current needs of the law firm. It is worth noting that CMS employees had a significant voice in the entire process of the project’s creation. This space is certainly the office of the future. It will contain a lot of new technologies, as well as visually attractive solutions.
Magda Muczyńska, senior project manager, Tétris
Tétris experts have several projects to their credit in so-called skyscrapers, including Warsaw’s Cosmopolitan and Zlota 44 apartment buildings as well as the InterContinental Hotel.
When planning the work in the interiors of Varso Tower, we benefited from our previous experience, especially those related to vertical transportation, as it requires completely different planning and scheduling. We had to take into account both logistical challenges and those related to delivering the right amount of needed materials.
Dariusz Czaplarski, senior project manager, Tétris
Work at the new CMS office is still in progress. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2022.