© Ray Van Dusen
KNOW MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNERS:
A Place Without Borders for Montreal Creators
The Frank and Oak clothing brand is inspired by life in the city and in nature, purposefully curated to be innovative and responsive to their clientele as well as the environment.
When such lifestyle and eco-responsible choices are an integral part of the brand, they naturally become the driving force behind all decisions including, of course, those influencing the workplace.
Building a new workspace for the Frank and Oak team which reflected their philosophy had an additional challenge: maintaining the atmosphere of the workshop they'd originally developed while improving the quality of life for all who worked there.
The journey began with the owners' decision to remain at their original address in this working-class Mile End neighborhood — the epicenter of Montreal's artistic innovation. Working closely with their team, we established the groundwork that would set the pace for their revitalized space.
The main entrance and its adjacent showroom introduce two zones: one focused on social gatherings and the other, more quiet and relaxed, that leads onto workspaces.
Crossing the entire length of space, a pathway clearly distinguishes itself as it creates a link between the various zones. Starting with social gatherings, moving towards a lounge that acts as the entrance to the workspaces, which includes large cubes — both offices and meeting areas — they create voluntary obstacles which slow down cadence and offer smaller, more intimate spaces.
Meanwhile, a second entrance offers an area for employee bikes to be stored and gives access to the coat and locker room.
This space is of course a creative workshop, with talented designers surrounded by textiles, sketches, and samples. It's also a big photo studio and a workshop filled with a lot of clothes! The challenge at the heart of our discussions was to accommodate these activities and to facilitate the process in all of its many steps. The workshop now has large cutting tables, suitable workspaces, and huge clothing storage!
The Imperatori Design team welcomed the challenge of creating a workspace which is at once very Montreal: unconventional, welcoming, green, and artistic but above all, like Frank and Oak — a citizen of the world... without borders.