Corporate Interior Design
The Regional Headquarters for a leading, global, high‐end leather goods & fashion retailer contrasts the old‐world history and commitment to hand crafted quality goods put forth by the brand in their recognizable stores through a rich, minimalist design approach, with the expression of this national head office as a raw and unfinished product where ideas, marketing, processes, and discussions related to all stores and business in Canada occur. Design emphasis was placed on spatial flexibility and transparency.
The executive office was previously located in a location separate from the main store. Now, housed just behind the regional flagship retail store on a key intersection on Toronto’s Bloor Street west, the new office embraces a truth of construction to create a raw and edgy aesthetic through the expression of the existing base building finishes & services. Exposing rough ceiling slabs, concrete floors, ducts and services, and introducing a few select high‐quality materials, the environment becomes a space that upholds the honesty and integrity of the office and its day‐to‐day operations. The careful placement of sparse design motifs and hints of store design materials maintains the brand image and presence of the brand in the office to orient both staff and visitors.
One of the challenges for the design was to create a multi‐functional space, where the client can host internal meetings, conferences, training and gala events. The flexible use of the glass sliding doors and partitions allows the multi‐purpose hall to expand into the reception area for larger open events. Due to the location of this room adjacent to the reception area but separate from the perimeter windows, the extensive use of glazing in the room also allows natural light to penetrate from the west to light the multi‐functional space.
The plan of the office ensured that the general office, as well as the Country Head and Manager all benefit equally from the natural daylight locations within the office. The general office, though freely connected to the whole office is open, is nestled in a corner pocket that offers separation for the staff from visitors & vendors. This office is also linked to the joint kitchen and breakout area. This space was conceived of as a lounge for staff to relax or interact in an informal manner. At once very functional and minimal in terms of its simple, black & white design aesthetic, the lounge is also furnished with signature European furniture that may be found in the brands stores, as well as the brand’s artwork. These are pieces that gently ground the user while also stirring a sense of romance of desert safaris or other remote adventures, reminiscing of places where the brands star patrons and their travel trunks or luggage have visited in the past 150 years.
Through the use of glass sliding doors and partitions, the project provides a highly transparent office environment that is both inviting, functional and supportive of the brand’s creativity & commitment to uncompromising quality that are have over time become its hallmarks.