Executive group floor becomes open-plan change management lab
The executive group of this leading financial business wanted a refreshed, functional workspace that would create a living change management lab, establish a new way of working, while promoting health and wellness among employees. Other needs in the physical space were consistent furniture standards, sense privacy within an open plan environment, and providing a more hospitality-driven experience in a refined and classic environment.
Interior Designer: Filo Costa, ARIDO
Design Team: Franca Rezza, ARIDO; Willem Berends, ARIDO; Karly Cable, ARIDO
Design Firm: Gensler
Photographer: Tom Arban
Visitors are drawn from the elevator lobby through reception and into a multipurpose cafe space. Rich materials and textures, vibrant graphic branding, and custom millwork creates a feeling of warmth and luxury throughout this expansive zone which also includes a wellness room, board and meeting rooms and semi-private breakout spaces.
The space is 100% open and the executives' need for privacy is met by a planning strategy that places executive assistants close to the core of the space, a 'buffer' of common storage areas, and a workstation configuration that is optimized for discretion.
The west end of the floor is given over to an agile workspace designed to support choice and flexibility in working style. Focus pods, soundproof telephone rooms, window high tops and four to six person breakrooms offer executives and their guests a wide choice of privacy for individual and group work, along with writing surfaces and video screens for meeting.
As the client is a significant patron of Canadian art and culture, part of the design solution included working with an emerging artist whose practice is inspired by biophilia and plants. Her work in collage became a metaphor for the unification of three distinct planning strategies, and the artwork creates a sense of cohesion between the three zones.
As the traditional focus on individual work is left behind, in favour of a progressive approach that encourages collaboration, it was important for senior leadership to model this in their own space. The executives now work in an open plan environment with ample adjacent collaboration spaces to meet with their teams.
Similarly, more business problems are solved by teams leveraging the Agile Method of project management. By designing collaborative spaces of all shapes and sizes and strategically locating them next to senior leadership, this zone becomes a learning lab for the business and fosters executive buy-in far earlier in the product development cycle.
Slated for both WELL and LEED Gold awards, the space features human-centric design elements including biophilic artwork to reduce stress; sound masking systems; rigorous water quality standards and water stations placed at frequent intervals.
This legacy business is firmly future-focused and continues to leverage design to promote a culture of collaboration and innovation in their sector.
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