Design team explores every angle in this future forward office
The client, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services, wanted to look to the future to develop their new office, and the design team approached this challenge by analyzing their business through a framework built from neighbourhoods, communities, and cultures of the City of Toronto.
Interior Designer: Lori Urwin, ARIDO
Design Team: Daniela Barbon, ARIDO; Meagan Hackney, ARIDO; Susan Teinhaara, ARIDO; Kaitlin McElroy, ARIDO; Kristina Kamenar, ARIDO
Design Firm: HOK
Photography: Tom Arban & Karl Hipolito
The goal? To design a space that stands the test of time, a destination where people enjoy their surroundings and unite as employees within the 10-stories. Our client's existing space consisted of private offices around a perimeter and the design team understood the significant social, cultural and functional change that would have to take place.
The design team began by creating an occupancy framework that delivers a variety of workspace types using a standard kit of parts. Subsequently, the team analyzed use and function for the various staff teams to refine and align these workspace types to job functions and outcome expectations.
The new space has spectacular views of the city of Toronto with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow daylight to permeate across the entire floor. After intensive work sessions, the design team created ten dynamic neighbourhoods, one for each floor, that each establishes a sense of place through colours, local graphics, texture, and pattern - all based upon the city of Toronto. Each of these "neighbourhoods" does not define specific functions or relationships amongst lines of businesses and employees, rather they provide a sense of connection and place. Staff are welcome to choose from six different workspace types that include sit-stand desks, collaborative desk arrangements, soft seating, and focused enclaves - all designed to be flexible, fluid and based upon the way people work best.
The client had an overarching goal of de-stigmatizing the traditional corporate office culture (including business attire), and their new office is the apex of a flexible workplace, with inviting environments that support activity-based work. By providing choices and intuitive spaces including open offices, touchdown spaces, collaboration rooms, cafe hubs, and high-tech conference rooms, the design team created places that encourage daily memorable moments which ultimately translate into more successful business outcomes. What better way to navigate the Transformative Age than in your favourite Levi's?
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