Canadian Interiors


Feature

Raise a Glass

Campari Canada’s newly designed workspace is infused with components of the group’s brand history


Suspended above the bar are Ingo Maurer’s Campari Light pendants. Behind the bar is the open plan work space. Photography by George Pimental Photography

Suspended above the bar are Ingo Maurer’s Campari Light pendants. Behind the bar is the open plan work space. Photography by George Pimental Photography

The familiar dark red apéritif has been a saloon staple for over a century and a half, enlivening the Negroni, Sanguinea and Americano of elbow-benders the world over. And that isn’t a euphemism: Campari is available in over 190 nations, and its parent company, Gruppo Campari, comprises 50 beverage brands that span spirits, the core business, as well as wines and soft drinks.

Atop the offices and meeting rooms are breakout meeting and relaxation spaces, sitting roughly halfway between the 36-foot high space, and are awash in natural light pouring in from overhead skylights. Photography by George Pimental Photography

Atop the offices and meeting rooms are breakout meeting and relaxation spaces, sitting roughly halfway between the 36-foot high space, and are awash in natural light pouring in from overhead skylights. Photography by George Pimental Photography

This global reach means a need for global offices, and when Campari fixed their gaze on Canada, the company wanted an office space that not only inspired and invigorated its working staff, but also projects the spirit of the company. Hence Toronto’s Liberty Village: a neighbourhood that is home to industrial, century-old buildings that have been retrofitted to accommodate the commercial needs of the city’s exploding creative enterprises. For Campari Canada’s new corporate offices, Toronto-based design firm I-V stepped in and skillfully overhauled an old black box film studio, devoid of windows, into a light-filled multi-purpose space whose design touches are infused with references to the imagery and branding of Gruppo Campari products.

A visitor to the office must first pass through a compressed, dark reception area, similar to a nightclub’s cloakroom, adorned with simple Italian icons like a modified Vespa scooter, and the logos of the group’s brands. Photography by George Pimental Photography

A visitor to the office must first pass through a compressed, dark reception area, similar to a nightclub’s cloakroom, adorned with simple Italian icons like a modified Vespa scooter, and the logos of the group’s brands. Photography by George Pimental Photography

The basic geometries and composition of the office space were largely inspired by several of Campari’s iconic advertising posters, particularly one from 1928 emblazoned with text that reads ‘He Distractedly Put the Bitter Campari on His Head’ and designed by Italian Futurist artist Fortunato Depero. Many of the space’s textural patterns and volumes, such as teal and navy rubber flooring, laser-cut ash plywood and white Corian finishes, were derived from the company’s brands. Featuring several communal spaces, the office aims to blend both work and play, with breakout/relaxing/play spaces resting atop freestanding architectural volumes that enclose meeting rooms and offices, which in effect creates a liminal zone that floats in the middle of the large open cube.

After passing reception, the centrepiece of the new office is a long bar, where events and tastings are held and staff gathers to socialize. Photography by George Pimental Photography

After passing reception, the centrepiece of the new office is a long bar, where events and tastings are held and staff gathers to socialize. Photography by George Pimental Photography

With plans to leverage the space for intimate events and entertaining, a large free-standing bar serves as the centerpiece, showcasing each of the Group’s pillar brands including Aperol, Campari and Wild Turkey, SKYY Vodka, Carolans Irish Cream, Appleton Estate Rum, Espolòn Tequila and Forty Creek Whisky (its Grimsby, Ontario-based Forty Creek Distillery location will continue to serve as the company’s production facility where whiskies are aged, blended and bottled. This location also provides office space to Human Resources and finance staff).

Private spaces like management offices and meeting rooms bisect the cubic volume and are sheathed in low tech translucent polycarbonate sheets framed in ash wood. Nothing touches the outer walls: these are all freestanding structures. Photography by George Pimental Photography

Private spaces like management offices and meeting rooms bisect the cubic volume and are sheathed in low tech translucent polycarbonate sheets framed in ash wood. Nothing touches the outer walls: these are all freestanding structures. Photography by George Pimental Photography

“Our concept for Campari Canada was to capture ‘the spirit of the party.’ We wanted to create an environment that is rich in colour and bold in scale, while striking the perfect balance between offices that facilitated day-to-day operations and a space that allowed for events and informal gatherings to take place,” says Emil Teleki, design director at I-V. “The final design is a series of fully enclosed, semi-enclosed and open spaces divided by translucent walls and materials that embody the Campari history.” (Incidentally, speaking of history, vegans should rejoice: the dye used to produce the rich red colour in Gaspare Campari’s original recipe was taken from crushed cochineal insects; it’s now artificially coloured.) 

Atop the offices and meeting rooms are breakout meeting and relaxation spaces, sitting roughly halfway between the 36-foot high space, and are awash in natural light pouring in from overhead skylights. Photography by George Pimental Photography

Atop the offices and meeting rooms are breakout meeting and relaxation spaces, sitting roughly halfway between the 36-foot high space, and are awash in natural light pouring in from overhead skylights. Photography by George Pimental Photography


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