Architect, Design Lead:
The Finlayson Practice Inc.
Architects of Record:
Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
This corporate office is housed in a 4-storey, 100-year old wood post and beam warehouse building. The floorplate is divided into three parts: the south studio, the north studio and a central, interactive “chill zone” – housing the main Café, games area, meeting rooms and lounges – which can accommodate town hall meetings for 250.
The primary objective was to create a work environment that was non-hierarchical and responsive to the task at hand. To accomplish this, personal work space was standardized and minimized for everyone in the company. This freed up space for the creation of unique alternatives for individual, small, medium or large group work. There are actually more seats available away from the “workstations”.
The second objective was to clearly express the unique brand identity and company culture. The corporate palette of lively colours was used to punctuate the predominantly white interior. This ensemble of shiny new elements is carefully inserted within the wooden post and beam structure. The culture of the office, whose primary work is software development and whose employees are mostly young, is expressed by the unique nature of the collaborative areas and the recognition that work can happen anywhere within this dynamic and responsive environment.
The client’s desire was also to create a sense of community. To achieve this, work zones were broken up, creating smaller interactive spaces within larger areas and providing easy access to the alternative work stations. Louvered walls visually separate the central collaborative space in the south studio, while still allowing for some visual connection and flow. More importantly the arrangement of the elements allow the space to functions as a microcosm of the city where there are rooms, houses, public buildings, streets, neighbourhoods, a central plaza and parks. This theme is reinforced with rooms and spaces being named after neighbourhoods in Toronto. There is choice and variety which provides an enriched culture of social engagement.