Canadian Interiors


Feature

The Juggernaut Offices

Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Architects, Toronto


Segmented, continuous, ribbon-like bulkheads that rise from the floor to wrap the walls and ceiling are a house specialty at Giannone Petricone, and at The Juggernaut, they really go to town. The bulkheads assume a convex polygonal profile, creating an angular, retro look seemingly deriving from the space-station interior in 2001: A Space Odyssey. How appropriate for the home of a post-production studio for broadcast, film and interactive media.

The Juggernaut occupies the ground floor of an old warehouse building in downtown Toronto. Giannone Petricone left the existing structure intact and treated it as a sheath for a new lining of suspended plywood ribbons, laminated on either side with rubber and plastic. Drywall, glass, Venetian plaster, glazed tile and walnut millwork are layered above the brick sheath, creating a rich, complex, textural palette.

Controlled light, an integral aspect of the Juggernaut’s working environment, became a thematic design element. The sequence progresses from the light-filled reception area to the studios, where lighting is dimmer and carefully apportioned.

Bulkheads encircle the reception space like giant film strips, transitioning into built-in seating, countertops and surfaces for display, and behind the reception desk, splicing into a pillowing wall of Venetian plaster that seems to ooze out from the bulkheads’ edges. Fixed to the ceiling with steel suspension rods and to the masonry wall with plywood gussets below the windows, a single bulkhead morphs into a counter, or returns as a small object shelf in the depths of the plaster wall. One tall, straight segment has been notched to resemble a miniature post from a Lincoln Logs toy building set.

The bulkheads offer framed views of the raw fabric of timber and brick. They also conceal the deficiencies of the host building, though at the cost of partially blocking daylight and window views.

A sense of tension animates this interior. Evocative of a juggernaut, the bulkheads seem to be an unstoppable force pushing against the base-building shell, threatening to burst the walls asunder.

OFFICE category sponsored by INSCAPE

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