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Winston & Strawn Receives IFMA Award for Design & Construction Excellence

Author HLW Staff

Tags Award, Interview, News

We are pleased to announce that the 40th Floor of Winston & Strawn’s New York office—located in the iconic MetLife Building—won an award for excellence in the “Design and Construction of a New Facility” category from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). To effectively conceptualize and create the space, the HLW worked closely with our client and general contractor Clune Construction Company.

The core requirements for the award-winning office came from Winston’s leadership which challenged the project team to build a contemporary and engaging environment. This undertaking also gave the firm a unique opportunity to renovate a single floor (rather than the full stack), allowing the team to envision the space as a pilot for future offices including the 42nd floor—the completion of which was met with great enthusiasm in 2020.

“When we envisioned the 40th floor construction, we focused on creating a clean, inviting and functional workplace that has an open feel with plenty of natural light,” said Winston New York Managing Partner Jonathan Birenbaum. “The innovative and efficient design of the physical space combines that sense of openness with state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure that permits a global law firm like Winston to succeed in an increasingly paperless world.”

Reimagining the 40th floor to compliment Winston’s culture called for more transparency through the use of glazed walls; creating relief and openness throughout the floor; designing efficient, single-sized private offices with a furniture plan suited for both solo work and meetings; and eliminating corner offices to create additional collaborative spaces.

“HLW created a furniture solution that not only achieves Winston’s functional goals but also creates an office that looks more gracious in a smaller footprint,” said HLW Senior Partner John Mack.

The inclusion of a café space that provides natural light was one of the firm’s foremost priorities. The office’s impressive 3,000SF centralized café is situated along the window line and looks south over Park Avenue down to Lower Manhattan and beyond—one of the city’s best views. The design team utilized a variety of seating types to accommodate those who want to work away from their assigned desk or simply enjoy a snack.

An architectural landmark, the MetLife Building presented unique design challenges due to its canted shape and significant number of columns. To solve this, the project team opened up the corners, standardized the size of offices outlining the perimeter, and created a pleasing flow through the floor that is oriented by city views. There was also notable teamwork between HLW and AMA when designing the HVAC system to achieve the space’s 9’+ tall ceilings in a building that only allows for 8’.

“The 40th floor of 200 Park is the pilot for Winston’s new design style and sets the tone for subsequent projects,” said Clune Construction Company Executive Managing Director Tommy Dwyer. “We have had the honor of working with Winston for many years, so helping them realize this transformation of their space was especially rewarding.”

About IFMA

Represented in over 100 countries, the International Facility Management Association is the world’s largest and most widely recognized association for facility management professionals.

About Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with 15 offices located throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. More information about the firm is available at