A good impression

A successful office reception area does more than offer a tidy, comfortable, well-organized place to sit and wait. As these three recent examples illustrate, it also provides an excellent first impression of the company, its culture and the people who work there. 

Established in the 1960s, Vancouver-based Bosa Properties is a real-estate developer with a reputation for a high level of design. The family-owned firm recently moved its head office into the Jameson House, one of its own properties, designed by Foster + Partners; it hired Square One Interiors Inc. to do the interiors. The reception area on the centre level, carefully carved out of the building core, features clean horizontal and vertical planes, layered with textured architectural materials, emphasizing the Bosa family’s passion for construction.

Torys LLP, a Toronto-based law practice founded in 1941, represents prestigious companies in Canada and around the world. A few years after KPMB Architects completed an artful renovation of the Toronto office, it was invited to revamp the Calgary offices, blessed with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and prairies to the east. As in T.O., KPMP created a space underscoring the creativity of critical thinking that is the essence of the practice of law. Artist Graham Gilmore was chosen to cover two walls in the reception area with full-height panelized paintings. Directly opposite is the exterior of the sculptural Caucus room, entirely clad in vertical walnut fins suggesting the rolling prairie landscape of Alberta. 

Until last year, when it was supplanted by Apple and Google, the Coca-Cola Company reigned as the No. 1 brand in the world (No. 3 ain’t bad, for a company founded in 1892). In a recent move to attract top talent, Coke relocated its Toronto HQ from the suburbs to design-savvy King Street East, hiring Figure3 Interior Design to fashion the three-story space. Overlooking the street, the main-floor reception area – with clean lines, warm wood tones, Coca-Cola murals and pops of vibrant red – pays tribute to the company’s glorious past while suggesting an ongoing vitality.