Law offices of Linklaters Oppenhoff & Rädler

Construction and production of hallway cabinets, construction and installations in client and miscellaneous areas

Completion 2004


The interior fittings of the law firm Linklaters, Oppenhoff & Rädler in Cologne demonstrate a borderline case poised between serial and single-object design, between required cost management and personalised elegance. Exactly the right kind of project for us, having already been torn 100 years ago between one-off designs (Mackintosch, Baillie Scott, Hoffmann and Olbrich) and Hellerau serial production. Today’s challenge takes the form of a 15,000 square metres law firm which has to be equipped with a brief to fit more than 600 doors in the 3 kilometres of corridors alone. But that is by no means everything. One aspect of the interior design involved the installation of built-in office cabinets.

Once the serial design elements had been fitted, the gaps in between were measured for the single-part production of the cabinets. In some cases it took a mere 48 hours from measurement to delivery of the custom-made parts. However, a matter-of-fact account of events cannot do justice to the complexity of the process.You see, just five per cent of the cabinets were actually fitted in the offices themselves. The corridors, on the other hand, form one continuous succession of fittings: In total, 800 cabinets with 1,600 front panels had to be installed. These cabinets conceal air conditioning units, whilst at the same time ensuring that these are always freely accessible. Each unit covers up to five maintenance flaps and everything can be opened without the need for any tools. One particular highlight: every olive-shaped key hole is plated with a stainless steel inlay. And of course, we had to produce some very special design elements as well: Corten steel wall panelling with integrated, sound-proof sliding doors. Ten conference rooms with the most complex media technology available and speakers concealed invisibly in the walls. Wall panelling made from red glass, which extends out to the exterior façade of the building. All in all, elegance as far as the eye can see. And all of this refers explicitly to serial design here. Even if it doesn’t appear so. This is one of our great strengths. Something we have learnt from our long DWH tradition.

Text: Rainer Baginski
Photo: Tomas Riehle/ artur