HOK Ottawa designs nature-inspired government co-working space

When the Government of Canada contemplated developing a co-working concept for Federal employees seeking an alternate work experience, they chose Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa, for its pilot project.

The intent behind the HOK Ottawa designed space was to open a convenient and comfortable co-working office area closer-to-home than their current downtown location. The 9,020-sq.-ft. human-centric space focuses on nature and adapts to a range of collaborative or individual situations so workers can feel at ease.

Photographer: Mark Holleron

“People feel comfortable and calm in a space with a colour palette and materials that emulate nature,” said Christian Cruz, senior designer at HOK Ottawa.

To achieve this, large wood ceilings were installed over workstations and collaborative spaces. Preserved moss walls welcome the staff as they enter the office, and textured carpeting and flooring throughout also evoke nature. With such unusual design features, Cruz was seeking clean, minimalist lighting that would complement, not compete, with these elements.

Photographer: Mark Holleron

“Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a design,” said Cruz. “It enhances the aesthetic appeal and helps create the mood of a living space. We chose various Eureka Lighting luminaires for several zones because the fixtures allowed us to achieve a perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.”

Ten Verner fixtures are placed over two lounge areas, centrally located within the space, and adjacent to the entrance. The geometric shape enhances the moss walls and creates a playful first impression as you walk in. A powerful light source, softened by a polymer diffusion dome, efficiently illuminates the tables and chairs while remaining gentle on the eye, and Verner’s black finish complements the black trims on the wood ceilings and walls.

Photographer: Mark Holleron

An employee kitchenette equipped with Stella pendants suspended above the island is adjacent to the lounges. While smaller in stature, Stella has a similar aesthetic to Verner, as well as a hidden diffusion dome for uniform light. Cruz appreciated that the direct lighting effectively lights the counter space, while the indirect illumination enhances the café and kitchenette’s feeling of spaciousness.

Three sets of café tables and chairs are set against a backdrop of geometric acoustic wall panels. An Alver pendant, with a discreet LED projector, is suspended above each table to provide lighting down to the surface. Its small size and clean lines ensure that it does not compete with the panels.

Photographer: Mark Holleron

Two small focus rooms are each illuminated with a Stroke wall-mounted linear luminaire. The sleek fixture provides ample multidirectional illumination to highlight the blue geometric wall covering on which it sits. At the same time, it provides enough lighting for employees to focus on the task at hand.

“We are extremely pleased with all the light fixtures selected for this project,” said Cruz. “The space is beautifully illuminated, and the luminaires help create a hospitable, bright, and inviting space.”

Project Name: Government of Canada Co-working Space, Place d’Orleans Centre
Location: Orleans, Ontario, Canada
Architect/Interior Design: HOK Ottawa
Eureka Agent: WSA Light Energy Design
Completed: September 2019