Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS)

Prominent Winnipeg law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman (TDS) was moving into a brand new office space - the first Class A commercial real estate development in Winnipeg in decades - and chose figure3, with Number TEN Architectural Group (as part of the One Global Design alliance) to design a new environment that would help change the way they worked.

They wanted to be less siloed, more collaborative, and step away from the hierarchical way lawyers typically work. Manitobans are very passionate about their heritage, so they also wanted an office design that would honour this.

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"When we began our discussions with figure3 about designing our new law office they kept asking about our culture. I had a hard time believing that design would be able to drive that kind of change. I was wrong. For many of our partners the space is beautiful and functional but for me it has been transformational.”
Allan Fineblit, COO, TDS

Results by Design

The open reception area is warm and classic in design. The desk’s bronze edge detailing pays tribute to the city’s parliament buildings, with acid etched back painted glass for its surfaces.

The wall behind the reception desk is made of tyndall stone, a limestone native to Winnipeg. A bronze and steel slide gate built by a local artist secures the lobby after hours.

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The open reception area is warm and classic in design. The desk’s bronze edge detailing pays tribute to the city’s parliament buildings, with acid etched back painted glass for its surfaces.

The wall behind the reception desk is made of tyndall stone, a limestone native to Winnipeg. A bronze and steel slide gate built by a local artist secures the lobby after hours.

Doing Things Differently

With a rapidly changing workforce and younger lawyers now running law firms, more efficient office space has become a priority. For TDS, this meant every private office would be the same size and the reception area would open up into the staff lunch room, visible to clients.

Moving from the reception area to the office is a dramatic experience at the TDS office. Here lies the expansive lunch room called the Northern Lights Lounge, the hub of the office, where visitors are treated with a spectacular view.

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A vaulted open ceiling faces a 60 ft wide vista of Winnipeg’s blue skies. Acoustic plaster and powder-coated steel baffles create rhythm and unify the spaces, while 18 ft high glass partitions create openness.

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