The Local Standard
An international Fortune 500 company, this consulting engineering firm has experienced rapid worldwide expansion. Recent acquisitions required a consolidation of staff in new or renovated offices across Canada. DIALOG was tasked with creating national guidelines to standardize offices in Calgary (pictured), Edmonton and Montreal. The challenge: provide a cohesive environment to reinforce a global brand, while allowing each office to maintain their own unique culture and identity.
- Designing Wise Investments
All the existing office spaces had one thing in common: huge workstation footprints and a large proportion of perimeter private offices. This combination meant a huge amount of floor space was dedicated to too few people. DIALOG collaborated with the client to realize new standards that satisfied the client’s changing needs and respected their bottom line. Private offices were greatly reduced in number and size and were moved to the interior of the floorplate, allowing access to daylight for all staff. Huge 85” monitors in lunch rooms created spaces that double as town hall presentation rooms. Plug and play technology in quiet rooms allow staff to shift seamlessly to different work settings throughout the day. In addition to making the offices brighter, flexible, more transparent and welcoming, these changes made more efficient use of the space, significantly reducing real estate investment costs.
- Ways of Working
Knowing their employees are their greatest investment, the client’s priority was to provide amenities that would make the working environment highly attractive to the GEN Y and Millennial staff they were aiming to attract and retain. Pin-up and layout zones were provided for the company’s engineers, planners, and designers. Different-sized meeting rooms were multiplied. Social cafes and collaborative zones were expanded. Panel heights were lowered to increase interaction. All employees received adjustable sit stand stations and showers were provided for staff to encourage biking and other exercise.
- The New Vernacular
How do you offer individualized flare to local offices without promoting “our office is cooler than your office” type boasting? By formulating a set of standardized finishes and furniture, yet allowing for differences in application for each city, DIALOG used local materials and references to obtain regional flavor, resulting in environments that each city could proudly call home. The Edmonton office was inspired by topography and landscape; Calgary (pictured) embraces the notion of urban cowboy, and Montreal is a study in overlapping graphic patterns and modern forms that reflect the vibrant city. To provide cohesiveness and ties to the global brand in all offices, project work was used as framed art and large scale wall murals throughout the spaces and the client’s international colour palette was employed in all office wayfinding systems.
- Project facts
Services Provided: Interior Design, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering