A Vancouver-based mining company moved its headquarters to a new office tower in the same city, and took the opportunity to create a timeless, unique space to present its business and support its staff for many years to come. With 16,000 square feet on two floors with generous floor-to-ceiling heights, and stunning panoramic views of Vancouver's surrounding mountains and water, the client also sought an open space that would reflect the company's connection to community and the environment. The client also saw the opportunity to nurture the quality of life at the office, and requested design and planning that would not only support the individual needs of staff, but also help to foster the company's workplace community.
The company selected Group 5 Design Associates Ltd., a Vancouver-based award-winning interior design firm, and Blackburn Young Office Solutions, a Knoll dealer, to create a solution. Extensive use of interior glazing provided access to natural light and views from the interior of the workspace, while simultaneously creating visual connections between staff in personal and public areas of the office. The two floors are connected by a floating stair and large granite wall slabs, conceived of as a central design element—unifying the entire company. The designers used a palette of natural materials, representing the mining industry, wherever possible.
To achieve the timeless, professional aesthetic and effectively support individual and common needs, planning and design was a careful, interactive process, which included an 18-month client design committee planning period, as well as extensive staff feedback on the individual office spaces and social hub. As a result, Blackburn Young Office Solutions was able to provide customized, high quality private office workspaces.
With staff participation, each private office was customized to the user's specific needs and job requirements; variations included type and size of storage, Tone™ height-adjustable workstations, technology cabinets, meeting zones, and configuration preferences. To accommodate these variations, Blackburn Young Office Solutions and Knoll worked together to customize overheads and storage towers without compromising appearance (and lived up to the reputation for service and support, for which the client had selected Blackburn). The offices were aesthetically unified by the Reff Profiles™ system, which the client selected in custom-stained 1/4-cut Walnut veneer, with a horizontal grain direction.
The large lounge space was planned for multipurpose use throughout the day, from a client welcome area to staff lunches (now a daily event) and meetings. Antenna® Tables provided the durability, flexibility and sleek aesthetic for this use.
Today, the company enjoys a sophisticated work environment characterized by cool silvers, modern whites, and the natural palette of walnut and granite. Staff report an increase in quality of life, thanks to expansive views and ample natural light. Perhaps most compelling of all is the increase in a sense of connection and community, supported by visibility between personal and public areas, the success of the social hub, and a sense of value that the company put in the individual workspaces.
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