Forest surroundings inspire this Toronto software office
In 2017, Toronto's BlueCat Networks, an enterprise DNS and cyber security provider, had recently earned several nods as a great place to work, with a focus on shared values like clarity, curiosity, collaboration, transparency, and ownership. However, its office space was not set up to encourage these values and best support employees.
Interior Designer: Beverly Horii, ARIDO
Design Team: Angelique Lucas-Witte, ARIDO; Suzanne Campbell, ARIDO
Design Firm: IA Interior Architects
Project Photographer: Ben Rahn
The design team drew inspiration from the office’s natural views and BlueCat’s core company values. Bringing the outdoors in, and responding to the semi-suburban setting, further differentiates BlueCat from downtown firms with industrial aesthetics.
Opening the space around the perimeter and lining meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass walls contributes to the abundant daylight and forest views. Recurring natural materials bring the outdoors in, and large leaf motifs of various indigenous trees adorn the glass-walls of enclosed meeting rooms. Each room is named for the type of tree that bears the displayed leaf, creating visual interest with a touch of biophilia.
For the engineering department, a lab design provides teams of 8-10 with universal-sized workstations, shared writeable walls, huddle spaces, and meeting rooms. By using the same desk module, team zones can easily be arranged in configurations that best support the current project and also permit flexible boundaries between the departments depending on growth.
A large, park-like community space includes a lunch area with picnic tables and a beer tap, a video gaming area with a couch, a servery for staff meals, and a multi-purpose space with moveable furniture and garage doors that open for training, town hall meetings, and social gatherings. The redesign offers employees many chances to uphold the company’s core values, with spaces to collaborate, focus and
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