Challenged to develop a design concept that would support a collaborative culture, IBI Group has completed the interior design of Capital One’s new Toronto head office, located in Brookfield Place on Bay Street.
With a series of under-utilized service spaces in the middle of each floor, visibility and access throughout the office was being impeded.
Inspired by New York City’s High Line, IBI Group gave the central corridors new life and transformed them into five destination spaces, creating a connection between the east and west sides of the office.
Bringing back the public realm into these areas helped foster a collaborative and flexible use of space through a wayfinding motif around the office. This system allows the adoption of multi-functional “scrum” destinations.
“We took underutilized space in the office and made it the focal point of our design. Representing introspective and inspiring spaces that encourage creativity and contemplative thought, the five unique corridor design concepts are tied together through names that nod to the word “In” (In-stinct, In-line, In-time, In-focus and In-sight),” said Barry Nathan, IBI Group Practice Lead, Interior Design. “A refuge for staff from the traditional workplace, these spaces bring elements of the outside ‘in’. We could not have fulfilled this bold concept without a forward-thinking and supportive client, which we were very fortunate to have.”
To accommodate Capital One’s need for flexibility of work space formalized collaboration hubs were developed on each floor.
These hubs are open concept with seven-foot-high freestanding walls, each designed in a distinct colour scheme and features a custom steel-top table with built-in storage and technology.
There is also a lounge area with a view of the city that offers a feeling of open space, and amenity hubs which include a technology lounge, café and banquette seating areas that unfold in a dynamic sequence of geometric cubes.
Leaving the traditional, corporate-feel of Brookfield Place behind, visitors are immersed in a space that, according to the design team, feels more like a trendy, boutique hotel.
The lobby opens into a flexible meeting/training/event conference centre, divided by an acoustical glass wall and configures from one to three rooms by vertical, stacking skyfold walls.
Designed for internal and external guests, the conference space provides an extension of the lobby’s hospitality lounge-vibe, complete with a spacious amenity area for informal gatherings and refreshments.
IBI Group provided interior design services, working with JLL as Project Manager, Govan Brown as Construction Manager, and Eventscape on all custom fabrication.
The reception features a 33-foot long by eight-foot high wall built of stacked plywood end grain face. A Capital One log is carved into the front face and edged with a black powder-coated metal.
Eventscape created seating booths that are small breakout zones and private areas for work. The millwork features were produced with an upholstered faux leather finish in triangular, cylinder, square and trapezium shapes, with integrated lighting.
On all five floors, Eventscape provided a total of 33 millwork features to implement partitions and breakout/meeting areas within the open office floor plan.
A triangular faceted spiral design element is built out of brake-formed and powder-coated metal, with an upholstered panel attached to each facet face.
There were four different types of freestanding metal and glass framed walls — some with glass on both sides others with a media screen and white laminate on the back. The rest have media screens on both sides, eight of these have combined 10-foot-long solid surface counter tops, as well as open shelf laminate cabinets with doors.
The floor was X-rayed to determine the best electrical and VX cable coring site at each wall location. Each element was built in sections to expedite installation and were installed on all five floors, matching the different color schemes of white, pink, orange, blue and green.
Eventscape also provided a laminated logo on each floor mounted on the elevator walls, and custom floor number signage that floated on a metal C-channel.