The space wraps half of the ninth floor of a new office building in downtown Vancouver, with panoramic views of the city, the north shore mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. As guests enter the reception space they are greeted by an exquisite reception desk computer milled from solid walnut. Flanking the reception space is the main board room, made of overlapping curved walnut and glass panels, that was carefully located to provide stunning views, ease of access for guests and privacy from the main working spaces. Opposite the boardroom to the other side of the reception is the heart of the space, the family table set within a full kitchen and bar that can transform from day to night for hosting events and clients. Two main workstation areas are created at either end of open office each with unique characters, separating the noisier and livelier trading spaces from the quieter administration ad accounting spaces. Intermixed between and around the workstation areas are a collection of casual, formal, enclosed and open break out meeting spaces, giving direct access for the staff to focus, or gather throughout the day. Lighting for the space was carefully planned to cue navigation through the office, provide intimacy in meeting spaces, and generating appropriate light levels at workstations to reduce fatigue. The design of the space reflects the evolution of the company as it moves from one generation to the next , juxtaposing the linear refined lines of a classically modern space with curved organic forms throughout.
S&P Real Estate
Evoking the refined luxury of the international real estate developments that they market, the new office of S&P Real Estate is a marriage of rich materials with bespoke design elements to convey the same high-end sophistication that is expected of their clients. The overall impact of the space was achieved by focusing on the inclusion of unexpected and well-executed details creating the perfect backdrop to showcase their premier developments.
Being collaborative and pushing the boundaries of the expected made this small office space feel like no single element was over-looked. From each thoughtfully considered surface and intersection down to the smallest detail, the space exudes care and high design. Every corner of the space is well thought through and designed with intention, including the exploration of vertical spaces to capitalize on a sense of space. The overall experience is ultimately refined and luxurious.
A Vancouver based company that provides infrastructure asset management software for the energy and industrial sectors, Copperleaf Technologies had outgrown their office and decided to relocate to a new space that could accommodate their expanding team. Through research into their work and the businesses that make up their client base, the design team uncovered a common theme, connection points. From dams to powerlines, pipelines to refineries, connection from one infrastructure point to another drove the design of Copperleaf’s office.
Working from the inside out, a central social hub represents ‘the source’ from which the rest of the office is connected. A large sunken seating area dubbed ‘the pit’ was built into the raised floor of this office, used as a casual seating or informal meeting area during the day but can also be used for office-wide meetings and functions. A café style staff kitchen sits adjacent and connects to a reception counter that doubles as a serving bar for large functions. Seating booths, games areas and meeting rooms with Copperleaf branding and industrial graphics surround the social area.
Connecting the social area to the open office is ‘the portal.’ A transformative space where screens with staff and clients greet visitors, prompted by a motion sensor. Travelling through the portal serves as a calming transition from the fun and lively social space to the quiet workspace of the open office.
The rawness of industry drove the selection of materials. The kitchen and social areas are built of unfinished plywood. The light plywood is contrasted by black accents representative of oil and earth, with accents of copper throughout. Custom lights made of black iron pipe with copper wire strung over and suspending exposed light bulbs are featured over the kitchen and reception counter
Dolden Wallace Folick
|Designer||Unison Construction Management|
Situated on the iconic Granville Street of Vancouver, Dolden Wallace Folick’s new office space took advantage of the floor to ceiling windows to the fullest. Offering vast views of Downtown Vancouver, the office space features sound proof glass partitions in order to allow natural light to penetrate to the very core of the office as well as allowing employees a visual break with expansive views.
As an expanding law firm, Dolden Wallace Folick faced many challenges in catering to the specialized work-groups prevalent in a traditional legal practice. These challenges were overcome through purposeful space planning.
The core of the floor plate consists of workstations, made with Steelcase wall systems with integrated filing storage to facilitate the heads-down nature of work for paralegals and research employees. However, collaboration is still essential in any work environment; the placement of island tabletops for large documents or breakout sessions allows each space in the office to have a specific purpose.
The use of modular file storage systems as well as versatile workstations allows for the client to rearrange and re-purpose space in a cost efficient manner if the need arises; further adding to the value of the office space.
This fast-paced project completed all design phases within seven weeks. To allow for an effective economic design, the team’s strategy was to channel the majority of resources into social spaces. This focus resulted in a unique lounge and fully serviced kitchen on each of the three floors. Additionally, the existing concrete slab was sealed and the exposed ceiling was retained, adding to the raw aesthetic of the space.
In order for its employees to excel in client service, the Bench office acts as a space that “services” its own employees through emphasizing wellness, choice, and culture. Sit-stand options, focus rooms, telephone rooms, informal and formal collaboration spaces, conference suites, and hospitality and lounge spaces encourage both spontaneous collaboration and private, heads-down work. The scheme provides 24 different typologies of workspace apart from individual workstations, equating to a ratio of 0.8 alternative work locations for every dedicated workstation.
Bench’s culture of innovation, collaboration, and community is reflected throughout its workplace design aligning with the founders’ belief that their physical space is an artifact of their culture rather than a definition of it.
Blackbird Interactive is an award winning, independent gaming studio based in Vancouver, BC. The BBI team is comprised of a talented group of artists, programmers, animators, editors, audio engineers and executives – all requiring specific working conditions. We were fortunate to be tasked with the job of designing a new home that could bring all of this expertise under one roof.
Studio 3 began as a 28,000SF shell space in the new Flatz district of Vancouver. We were given some early design parameters – include a shipping container and think of the space as the deck of an aircraft carrier.
We divided the office in half, a western and eastern wing, comprised of BBI’s open workstations and meeting rooms. The atrium, kitchen and lounge is centrally located to accommodate all staff meetings, parties and gatherings. The positioning of the atrium gently nudges people away from their desks to engage and interact with colleagues.
The design concept is rooted in the sleek, angular lines and dark matte finishes of the aerospace industry; pulling heavily from the namesake plane, the Blackbird SR-71. The idea of a Bedouin camp relaxing on the deck of a ship was presented early and served as inspiration throughout the process. The result is a peppering of tapestry style pillows and Persian rugs throughout the common spaces indicating areas to kick back and relax.
A favourite feature is the shipping container meeting pod, which was completely custom made and assembled on site. Graphics relating to SR-71 call signs were hand-painted to give an authentic feeling of a salvaged shipping container. Specialty signage and wayfinding is used throughout the space, adding detail and continuity.
These clients know exactly who they are and by letting us dig deep, collaborate, and learn so much about their culture, we were able to create a space that’s distinctly ‘them’.
Cactus Club Café
With continuous expansion across Canada, the success of Cactus Club Café could be attributed to their pursuit of the highest quality experience for their guests. Their new office headquarters in Vancouver needed to speak the same language as their restaurants, recreating the highest level of experience for both staff and visitors alike. It was an opportunity to link distinct design elements from the restaurant environment to those of the office, creating a connected dialogue between the two.
The office radiates a sophisticated and professional work environment that serves as a daily reminder to their team of the excellence, innovation and purpose behind their work. The spacious and open layout with prominent use of glass proclaims a clear message to staff and visitors alike that transparency is paramount to the Cactus Club team. Access to key people within the organization as well as the constant interaction between teams creates open communication and boosts company connectedness and well-being.
|Designer||Evoke International Design|
Mogo is a financial company looking to bring social responsibility, accessibility and fun to financial services. The design team’s agenda was to design a 13,000 square foot space downtown to house a growing workforce. The open office concept is complemented by a collection of multipurpose rooms at varying scales, offering space for small to large meetings, private conversations, group strategy sessions and hot desk capabilities for visitors. Additionally, several different amenity spaces further allow for staff to stay mobile by providing interesting and dynamic spaces to meet, socialize and conduct business. The client brief included references to mid century modern office design, and the result is a space that is classic and modernist, a direction chosen to create a timelessness and an almost homey comfort. This aesthetic is most evident in the lobby area, featuring teak wall paneling, carrara marble reception desk, a daylight ceiling and mid century lounge furniture from Knoll Studio. The lounge area features custom felt lined booths, allowing for both cool socialising and quiet meeting space.
Mogo workforce is very flexible and transient within the office space, and there was a necessity for the space to function larger than actual size. The work areas are a blend of fixed stations and non-assigned desks. The smaller meeting rooms can also be booked as workspace by those requiring temporary use or extra privacy.
The client was concerned that any amenity space designed would not be used for anything other than social space. To ensure that the space would be used for meetings, casual work and social gatherings a variety of seating options were provided: high table with bar stools; low lounge furniture; and felt-lined booths to provide a more quiet area in which to meet.
Mogo has an entire floor plate on the 21st floor, so views are 360º. The goal was to ensure amenity and shared space was located at primary view areas so all staff could enjoy the outlook. To achieve this there is open lounge and amenity space on the north and south facing sides of the space.
Fulcrum Capital Partners
|Designer||SSDG Interiors Inc.|
|Photographer||Ema Peter Photography|
Two different groups of people, one office. Their workstyle is different, their spacial + functional needs are different, their personalities are different, but what they have in common is the goal to bring the team together for success.
Our goal: to design an office that functions for all, a space they’d be proud to showcase, and an environment that speaks to their brand while honoring their roots. Front-and-centre you enter into the open café space – the corporate ‘kitchen party’, where you can grab a latté, catch up on stock reports, perch at the island, or grab a seat in the lounge. A space where casual meetings co-exist with coffee breaks, a space where the Fulcrum teams collaborate, and a starting point where clients get to know Fulcrum – stable, strong, collaborative + innovative.
The Fulcrum story is intricately woven throughout the office. The wood wall at the entry is comprised of shapes from their corporate tangram-inspired logo. The embossed red triangle being the horizontal and vertical ‘Fulcrum’ point of their new space. It speaks of who Fulcrum is and what they are about, bringing unity to the team and telling an unspoken story to their clients.
|Photographer||Ema Peter Photography|
DIALOG’s Vancouver interior design team completed a stunning new commercial office space for up-and-coming company Edgar Development in the MNP Tower in Vancouver, Canada. Inspired from a simple photograph of a ‘mountainscape’, DIALOG designed Edgar’s 4,285 sq. ft. office to reflect a crisp, clean, white mountain of ice to bring the outdoors in and create a grounded space for employees to flourish.
”We are a family run business and in order to stay competitive you have to create a memorable experience for both the employee and client. Echoing those values in your office space can make a big difference in your relationships at the end of the day,” says Peter Edgar, President of Edgar Development. “With DIALOG on board, our new office was designed with our future in mind and we are already seeing firsthand the benefits from clients and employees. Interestingly enough, most people don’t want to seem to leave once they arrive.”
Upon entering the new office, one is greeted with a 40-foot backlit mountain of which all other design aspects are positioned around. The mountainscape is centered to allow natural daylight to filter in from all sides of the office, and the space reflects rocklike formations that compress, expand and frame a visitor’s experience. The most unique aspect is the angular 3D faceted meeting areas made from different tones of felt, which naturally resembled ‘cracks’ in the rock formations, that serve as highly acoustical meeting areas a.k.a ‘Man Caves’, a term generated by the Edgar family.
DIALOG believes that great interior design should tell a story that draws on the character of the community and where people work. With Edgar, everything relates whole-heartedly to the concept of the faceted mountain. As if looking up to the top of a mountain, the Edgar office is now easily recognizable by the beam of light located in the tip of the staff eatery, allowing anyone from street level to see the office within a five-block radius.
The three main design objectives for the new office of Cutler, an Interior Design and Architecture firm were to encourage movement, foster collaboration and drive creativity. The bones of the existing building are loft-like and urban with exposed brick and heavy timber construction, elements that needed to be respected in the new design.
Inspired by a lab environment for creative thinking and research, the foreground of the space is a blank white canvas with an assembly of tools to drive creativity. The palette was limited to neutral colors and simple finishes, eliminating any unnecessary visual distraction. Painting the existing brick white maintains the texture while modernizing the space into a lighter and brighter environment. A circle of unpainted brick was left exposed in one of the meeting rooms, a quiet nod to the history of the building. Vinyl graphics are subtly dispersed throughout the space. Each one noting the length of a light fixture or integrating a large format tape measure onto a wall corner, allowing the team to use the environment as a point of reference.
This minimalist interior is complemented by subtle textures in the carpet, drapery, and soft seating and greenery located throughout, bringing nature indoors. These elements provide a relaxed and comfortable feel to an otherwise commercial space so staff and clients can feel at home.
Having come from a turnkey office, the client was looking to create a workplace that was a strong representation of the Wesbild culture and brand. Employee engagement was an important aspect of the design process, giving their team a say on both functional and aesthetic qualities of the new office.
With a long history of building quality, master-planned communities, Wesbild’s new office mirrors the thoughtful design that goes into each of their projects. A bold 60-foot wood slat ceiling, evocative of strength and trust, draws visitors into reception where a refined palette of warm and natural materials are juxtaposed against modern architectural elements. Flexible, spacious and modern while retaining a calming and timeless aesthetic, the new office will serve Wesbild for years to come.
Oakwyn Realty is a fresh new residential real estate brokerage who entered the Vancouver market to bring a new collaborative model to real estate. With this unique approach, their goal was to attract and retain as many new realtors as possible in part by providing a modern office environment that encourages interaction and cooperation between realtors. A very clean aesthetic was employed for this job, using Oakwyn’s branding as the primary driver. Black, white, and gold, as well the circle ‘O’ of their logo, with subtle hits of Vancouver used in graphics and materials.
Their flagship office location, a former Blockbuster retail store, was turned into a real estate office unlike anything currently in the Vancouver market. The open reception sits adjacent to a large social area where realtors work independently, compare listings with their peers, meet with clients over coffee, hold industry events promoting their latest project, or host large information sessions for sharing lessons learned and trip and tricks of the business.
Award-winning communications-based software company Slack located its multi-level headquarters in Yaletown, at 1028 Hamilton. The Slack Headquarters re-imagines the industrial space with sleek and modern detail. The new offices retain the heritage character of the building by integrating the exposed brick, original wooden beams, and mechanical infrastructure into the design. The steel separating walls are coated with a matte gunmetal lacquer.
The large bay windows on both levels give plenty of natural light to the industrial building. The windows throughout the office are framed in black, which softens the light and elegantly anchors the space. The primary meeting rooms on the second floor, which are adjacent to the second floor bay windows, are transparent so that the street is visible throughout the office. Additional daylight is subtly filtered through the many skylights in the working area, as well as the cafe, reception, and atrium.
The second level of the Slack headquarters encourages flexibility in the use of space, with modular office design and open-concept communal areas. Mobile meeting rooms can be rolled around the office, encouraging break-out groups, play, or just some extra privacy. Elsewhere in the Slack offices, Skype meetings and phone calls can be held in semi-private cubbies, like vintage phone booths, with sliding glass doors. An atrium seating area and stairwell that connects the main level with a small lounge overlooking Hamilton Street.
The concept of an ‘interior nature’ is explored with the mossy wall, located at the heart of the headquarters. Overhanging this space is sculptural pendant lighting by designers Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen. The organic shapes, suspended in the high space between upper and lower levels like floating clouds or tree mushrooms, connect working and social space.
The interior of this office was designed to foster collaboration and to showcase the client’s innovative technology. The space was separated into two areas: the executive offices and the software design open workstation area. Bridging these two areas is a large social café and lounge space.
During the discovery phase, the design team identified the Café + Lounge as a critical element to the project, it’s a place for the entire team to collaborate, communicate, socialize, and play with their touch-screen technology.
Technology is everywhere and has been fully integrated in the lounge to connect to one or all of the LED screens from multiple areas.
The office is modern in form and colour with a combination of natural and hi-tech materials providing interest and excitement throughout the space, described by one team member as “when I walked in, it felt like a breath of fresh air”.