Hiroshima for Herbert Smith Freehills

The Hiroshima chair from Maruni

Hiroshima for Herbert Smith Freehills

The Hiroshima chair from Maruni is renowned for its elegant and iconic form. Designed by Naoto Fukasawa, the Hiroshima is brought to life by the skilled craftsmanship and highly refined production processes for which Maruni is renowned.

Harnessing Maruni’s expert furniture manufacturing capabilities, design firm BVN Donovan Hill commissioned a limited edition run of Hiroshima chairs in Cherry Wood – a material never before applied to the Hiroshima.

The commission, intended for the fit-out of Herbert Smith Freehills’ new headquarters in Sydney, saw BVN Donovan Hill approach Maruni and Naoto Fukasawa to investigate this special material option. “I’d always known about the Hiroshima, which is a beautifully crafted chair,” says Todd Hammond, then-project manager with BVN Donovan Hill.

“When we started doing the concepts for Herbert Smith Freehills, it became clear we needed a flexible planning solution.”

Todd and his team devised an office system that operated as a pavilion of sorts, with doors that slide together to create a private pod, and “dissolve” away to open it out. “This office pod is almost like a piece of joinery in itself; it’s crafted by Unifor in Milan and features Cherry Wood in the design,” he says.

Looking to match the timber throughout the project Todd, with the assistance of SeehoSu, investigated the possibility of producing the Hiroshima (which is popularly produced in Oak and Walnut) in a limited edition timber.

With special permission granted by Fukasawa, Maruni worked closely with Hammond and SeehoSu to produce more than 200 Hiroshima chairs in a Cherry Wood that matched the unique Herbert Smith Freehills fit-out. “The Hiroshima in Cherry Wood has this raw, un-lacquered finish to it, which gives it this beautiful finish that feel like silk to touch,” he says.

Located at 161 Castlereagh Street in Sydney’s CBD, the Herbert Smith Freehills office is not only a Green Star rated fit-out but represents a new generation working environment for the law firm.

Careful office planning has seen many of the law firm’s senior members opt to work side-by-side with their teams in open-plan workstation situations, rather than taking up private offices. “There is a consistency of quality for everyone,” says Todd, which has been pivotal in bringing teams more closely together.

When it came to selecting a meeting chair for the office, around a dozen options were considered but – “we always came back to the Hiroshima”, says Todd. “In my mind the perfect chair was always the Hiroshima chair.”

See the Hiroshima Chair by Naoto Fukasawa for Maruni, click here.