Photography by James Brittain
The new Canon Canada headquarters by Toronto-based Moriyama and Teshima Architects delicately balances its Japanese influence with its Canadian context and home. The four-storey, 176,000-sq.-ft. office building was designed to mirror the company’s values of technical precision, order and innovation through an appreciation for openness and light. Custom glass fins line the building’s triple-glazed windows and define its exterior envelope, which appears to float above a recessed back of black Québec-sourced granite.
Inside, visitors and workers are led along an internal promenade lined with formal plantings native to the Brampton site, highlighted by cherry trees that pay homage to the company’s Japanese roots. Further in, privacy and collegiality are balanced in an open plan, with offices oriented around a central atrium.
“The building grew out of Canon’s values of simplicity, symmetry and Japanese minimalism: very clean and orderly with lots of natural light in the interior,” says Brian Rudy, partner at Moriyama and Teshima Architects. “We realized fairly quickly that a minimalist aesthetic was appropriate to what Canon was trying to achieve.”
Numerous sustainability strategies aims at a LEED Gold certification include daylight sensors that control bright-ness of LED lighting and the level of automated roller shades; mitigation of heat island effects through the use of a white roof and paving; high efficiency mechanical systems including heat recovery; solid end walls; and more.
The building’s exterior glass fins are frosted, helping to reduce solar heat gain while offering a practical solution to the build-ing’s position at a 45-degree angle to the sun. Lastly, the building is set back on the site to create a formal garden space at street level and to hide surface parking, providing staff with an unobstructed view of their natural surroundings. “We tried to express Canadian values in the openness of the design; placing the building back from the street, surround-ing it with a park, bringing green into the atrium and introducing wood and natural stones,” says Rudy.
Inside and out, the project paints a picturesque backdrop for a company whose environmental and sustainability values are ingrained into their corporate philosophy. Through the integration of a warm, minimalist palette of materials and a strong connection to the surrounding landscape, the Canon Canada headquarters manages to reflect both its Japanese background and its new Canadian home.