© Ray Van Dusen
Imperatori Design was tasked with designing a pilot project for their Montreal headquarters, with the challenge to design an atmosphere that would foster a sense of community and belonging as well as appeal to the best talent.
Building the community
The journey started with Telecon’s captivation with a historic Mile End warehouse — previously utilized as a lighting warehouse — where Telecon entrusted the designers to meet the challenge of converting this huge space into their new work environment, which would encourage a collaborative, innovative culture and build up their brand image.
An additional instruction beyond the design of their Montreal offices was to set up an “exportable” workplace environment concept — adaptable to a diversity of buildings for their new locations across Canada. While the environment required to reflect the local geographical and cultural variations and work patterns, they also required to express key aesthetics and workplace solutions established in Montreal, as well as encourage the same sense of belonging and community, which they wanted to be unmistakably... Telecon.
The story went on with Vancouver and Edmonton and Toronto… and on to the U.S!
The spaces designed are as follows:
Location: Montréal, QC
Area: 80 000 sq.ft / 7432 m2
The primary entrance: where business people in suits as well as cable installers in construction boots are received at the centralized reception counter.
The broad stairway: acts as a network to tasks on the two 40,000 sq.ft floor plates and doubles as a venue for the company announcements.
The Telecon “Highline” wood promenade surrounded by offices, lounges, and a cable wall leading to the café.
Spaces carved out from the freestanding “pods” offer unique quiet meeting areas that diverge in sizes. The floor has stood as exposed concrete and the wood ceiling has been elegantly refurbished, to keep with the essence of the initial old warehouse.
A zone within an existing lower floor was built up to create an intimate and informal work area.
A green wall breaks the café from the visitor’s “touchdown” stations.
Location: Vaughan, ON
Area: 130 000 sq.ft / 12077 m2
Access to café: The sculptural black metal staircase anchors the scene with its integrated 2 storey high living green wall. The staircase joins the 4th and 3rd floor where staff have entry to the café, different types of meetings rooms and varied types of seating areas. The suspended ceiling above the staircase guides the eyes to the c-suite boardroom where company decisions are carried out in all transparency. The sculptural staircase, biophilic context and deliberate design cues together offer guests and staff an unforgettable experience.
Café: The multi-cultural culinary café with its “recipe wall” subtly embodied in between the repeated rhythm of vertical elements throughout the space. The recipes are from all around the world displaying the diversity of the team at Telecon in Toronto.
Reception: The ground floor entrance offers a unique experience with its industrial look mixed with the warmth defined by the vertical wood slats. Traces of the Telecon Logo can be found in the subtle diagonal lines incorporated in the vertical slats or in the colorful graphics following the company colors installed on the opposite wall. The boardroom, enclave spaces and meeting room are designed to allow different types of privacy: for example two boardrooms are perfectly hidden for important client meetings, while enclaves with glass fronts are meant for small meetings or some private phone calls.
Reception and boardroom
Location: Richmond, BC
Area: 35 000 sq.ft / 3251 m2
Boardroom : A more formal and focused driven environment can be met on the other side of the office tucked away near the elevator. Here you get naturally lit boardroom and meeting rooms with an extraordinary view of the surrounding forested area and flowing river below.
Skyzone meeting space : In this case the freestanding “pods” are re-interpreted to encourage meeting opportunities near the atrium space and take full advantage of the natural light. The naturally lit meeting area enclosed by sliding glass doors, which can be shut to set up an environment conducive to focus and elevated working experiences.
Atrium: One of the signature advantages of this building was the amount of natural light that fills the entire space, not only from the skylight above but also from the full floor to ceiling windows along the edge. The open atrium space naturally developed into the center point of the office, which guided the concept. The sculptural wooden element envelops the existing central staircase, its shape produces opportunities for informal meetings, guest seating and company announcements.
Location: Edmonton, AB
Area: 15 000 sq.ft / 1393 m2
Reception: The reception area can be viewed as a counterpart to Telecon Montreal’s except here the building provides a marvelous semi-circular view of the forested area near the building. The open ceiling and exposed concrete flooring offers an industrial look while expressing the company’s culture.
Workspace: In this scenario the freestanding “Pod” forms are designed as a transition piece between the open workspace to the shared spaces for the users entering the office.
Tiered lounge: In the café the design captures Telecon Montreal’s “highline” and features a living green wall with metal motifs inspired from the Telecon logo. The café offers spacious and varied seating arrangements forming an oppportunity for different dining or work type experiences
Project Details (Technical):
West Elm Workspace
Steelcase (task chairs)
Imperatori Design (Collaboration with)
LumiGroup (Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto)
Lumenpulse (Montreal Office)