“We interviewed several firms and saw clearly that MKDA would be able to understand and execute our vision. We knew the firm would educate us through the process and provide a functional space that would meet our specifications and design requirements rather than its own. The results speak for themselves.” – Friedman

Transformative Human-Centric Headquarters


The 21st Floor Headquarters at One Liberty Plaza for high-profile accounting and advisory services firm Friedman LLP was designed in response to its relocation from three floors of traditional corporate space. In complete contrast to its former workplace, the new workplace is human-centric and offers efficiencies, experiences and innovations to enhance employee well-being, brand expression and culture.

Our post-occupancy review of Friedman’s new workplace shows a successful high-performance space with a impactful strategy that resulted in substantial improvements to the firm’s productivity, workplace engagement, employee well-being and company culture.

A Finely-Tailored Design for a Better Workplace and Happier People

Putting the personal and professional well-being of its 275 New York employees at the forefront during the design process was paramount to Friedman, a leader in the accounting industry since 1924. The strong vision the firm held for its new space included employee-centric features more in line with tech companies than accounting firms: open areas, bright colors, breakout rooms and state-of-the-art technologies.

A Living Corridor of Collaboration at the Core

The environment’s backbone is a “living” corridor of collaborative spaces that runs through the center core and includes a kitchen, library, den, workroom, living room and community hub with a 1,800-square-foot cafe.

The cafe was fitted with hospitality-level high top tables and bistro banquettes; the community hub with bleachers and an oversized monitor for events. The post modern industrial chic decor features bold colors and an eclectic blend of details, including mosaic ceramic tiles, custom ivy light fixtures, vivid wall graphics and geometric-patterned flooring.

Blurring the Lines Between Home and Work

MKDA delivered a balanced program for the forward-thinking accounting firm, with 75 glass-front perimeter and interior offices for partners and senior accountants, benching and various experiential collaborative spaces that blur the line between home and work.

Warm and Delightful Design Finishes

To create a neutral backdrop throughout the work environment, MKDA retained unfinished industrial elements such as concrete floors, exposed ceilings, concrete block walls and exposed ductwork. In reception, for example, a sculptured teal reception desk, electric red chairs and a bright blue signage pop against the background.

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