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In a city where sense of identity is as diverse as its citizens, a local design aesthetic is hard to define. DIALOG, in its Toronto studio, explored a range of influences to express an elegantly modern style that’s all their own.


Layered Effect

Located in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, within a 1974 high-rise, the spatial quality of DIALOG's 11th floor lacked expression. Without the inherent character found in heritage buildings, the design team was tasked with creating a welcoming atmosphere to reflect the diverse culture of the staff, at the same time appealing to a portfolio of clients from varied sectors. This required a subtle layering of materials and finishes to create a space that feels very un-corporate, but provides all the amenities the bustling design firm requires in their professional practice. The renovated spaces created new boardrooms, a reception and waiting area, and a staff kitchen. All spaces had to serve multiple purposes. The reception area contains a collaboration desk, the waiting area doubles as a staff event zone, meeting rooms can accommodate small one-on-one conversations to global design charrettes. The kitchen, like any home, is one of the best used spaces in the studio. Staff gather to talk over meals, teams hold project meetings, and individuals pin-up their latest work to gather feedback from colleagues.

Material Gains

DIALOG Toronto’s 11th floor reception area is grounded by an impressive sculptural reception desk. Custom made, white Corian is crafted into a curvaceous surface which incorporates a collaborative breakout area for informal meetings and convivial conversation. The backdrop to the space is a CNC cut map of Toronto’s street grid in a warm oak veneer, providing both a sense of privacy and connectedness for the occupants of the conference room behind. The “living room” is an extension of the reception area, and provides a comfortable waiting area for guests, doubling as a zone for relaxed meetings. A custom curved sectional in charcoal, orange chair, live edge coffee table, and custom graphic wool rug, create a warm aesthetic within the room. An art wall, showcasing the original work of Canadian artists from collections of DIALOG principals, adds a further residential quality to the space. Boardrooms adjacent to the reception area are framed in black glass, creating a sense of openness and graphic quality to the space. The boardrooms are complimented by custom credenzas featuring lacquered graffiti motifs. Custom wool rugs and grey felt wallcoverings make the rooms acoustically appealing.

Kitchen Party

Beyond the reception space, the staff kitchen echoes the reception desk’s wood finish with its custom cabinetry. A layer of luxury is provided by the deep brown granite counters and backsplash. Though the kitchen feels residential, it can withstand the daily use of DIALOG Toronto's 160+ employees. Whether it’s to gather in friendly conversation, or share food and ideas, the kitchen has become the social heart of DIALOG's studio. DIALOG’s new reception and kitchen areas also provide a casually elegant backdrop for special events: from monthly parties, design team pin-ups and daily yoga stretching; to important client meetings and firm wide announcements – the space is welcoming to all and is enjoyed by DIALOG staff and guests.

Project facts

Size: 1000 sq. ft.
Completed: December 2015
Client: DIALOG
Services Provided: Interior Design, Architecture
Custom Furnishings: Louis Interiors
Custom Rug: Sullivan Source
Lighting: Michael Anastasiades
Partitions: Bliss Nor-Am
Stone: Ciot Canada