While law firms, financial institutions and other traditional businesses often live within an architectural space reflective of history, modern technology has transformed the way work is conducted within their walls. Collaborative workstyles enabled by technology exist here alongside the private office and the formal boardroom. The office atmosphere is more flexible and more client-focused. Dressed in understated colors and refined finishes, furniture acquires a heightened elegance that fits both the realities of work and the decorum of the surroundings.
Banks, investment banks and accounting firms may live within a heritage building or a contemporary glass and steel high-rise structure. Nonetheless, within the shell, interior design is often traditional: neoclassical architectural features, high ceilings and paneled walls and possibly elements such as a fireplace or lighting fixtures associated with residential interiors. At the same time, “white shoe” firms pursue their goals within the context of a knowledge-based economy and significant shifts in patterns of behavior and styles of work.