Canadian architecture practice ACDF Architecture has created interiors for the tech headquarters of an American video game publisher company, 2K in Montreal, Canada.
The new office interiors feature contasting material palette that evokes the interor of a boutique hotel rather than a tech headquarters, bringing “warmth and sophistication”.
The project is conceived as a fine example of how ACDF reinvents the ambiance of specific programs, like offices, and infuses traditional elements with emotion without extravagance.
Enriched with internal gardens for each team, wooden shelves and panels, black metal structures, copper panels and tinted glass are mixed to create bold and sharp ambiance.
“Montreal is a hub for gaming companies, and 2K desired an office that stood out from the crowd for its Cloud Chamber studio,” said ACDF.
“As a starting premise, ACDF took inspiration from mid-century residential architecture and played with proportions, sightlines and a monochrome colour scheme.”
The 30,000-square-foot (2,787-square-metre) space accommodates over 150 people. Considering the large capacity, ACDF has fashioned dimly lit areas, answering a very specific work environment for developers, and other nooks flooded with light that resemble garden cafes and outdoor terraces.
Offering a cohesive design, the studio creates the collection of different atmospheres, from more private to more public, which are fused together in a flowing way.
“Contrasting soothing darkness and stimulating light”
Located in the city’s Westmount area, Cloud Chamber Studio is located on the fifth floor of a former data centre for a bank credit card company that has been significantly renovated.
The studio modelled the office on the theme of “contrasting soothing darkness and stimulating light.”
According to ACDF, creating contrasting areas “for more focused, independent work with a darker” would bring intimate aesthetic and brighter areas, while white ceilings aimed to convey openness and collaboration.
Organized in the open floor plan, the workspaces are arranged as clusters with an identifiable zone for each one of 2K’s teams.
Each team has its own, dedicated open area for individual work, characterized by furniture that corresponds with muted colours of carpeting in their small offices and meeting spaces.
To create bright collaborative “gardens” for each team, ACDF worked with the building’s windows that pop out from the façade.
“We took advantage of the building’s three-dimensional envelope and used its natural nooks to differentiate between zones,” said ACDF partner Joan Renaud.
The “gardens” are therefore equipped with a wood decking, black metal structures, supports for writing boards and hanging plants, and white curtains, which can be opened or closed, depending on the level of privacy desired.
Rather than adding traditional walls to divide the floor plate, ACDF utilized the spaces between existing structures and closed central volumes to create non-linear circulation with moments that encourage interaction, thus fostering a sense of team spirit.
From utility areas to elevator shafts, a series of internal units are unified visually and wrapped in a warm palette of copper panels, wood panels, and tinted glass.
These volumes, which also include an entry, front desk, private offices, and coat storage for Montreal’s frigid winters, add a sense of order and rhythm, subtly subdividing the sea of open desks.
Varying lighting strategies, from backlit tensile to exposed ductwork, give the feeling of expansive ceilings throughout. Other details are pale oak cabinetry, polished concrete floors, and furniture pieces that are both sober and elegant, inspiring a retro-futuristic atmosphere of the space.
Office spaces in Montreal, like most major cities, are emptying because of the pandemic, and many employers and building owners are striving for ways to create enticing workplaces.
Through high-quality materials and thoughtful detailing, ACDF has designed an environment that welcomes and inspires, by providing both larger areas for group work and socialization balanced with private spaces akin to the comfort of one’s home to fully focus on work.
The project offers a space where employees and teams can find what they are looking for at a given time, while also encouraging a community and fostering teamwork.
“By opting for a more sophisticated muted design, we strove to create a space that had a sense of composure and improved people’s time at the office,” added Renaud. For the local studio, beauty undoubtedly contributes to enhance our daily lives.
ACDF Architecture also completed The Apple Tree House in the heart of Quebec’s Lanaudière region, Canada.
Cost: $4 million
Area: 26,722 sq. ft.
Year of delivery: 2022
Team: Joan Renaud, Véronica Lalli, Marco Brissette, Sang Taek Nam, Mireille Létourneau, Carolyn Gouin, Maria J. Briceño, Léa Brisson Walters
Architecture, interior design, graphic design, furniture selection, interior signage, integrated furniture design and lighting design: ACDF Architecture
Project Manager: Cushman & Wakefield
Cabinetmakers: Ameublement Hors série ML inc
Carpet: ShawContract Dye Lab Tile
Wood veneer: Ameublement Hors série ML inc
Furniture: Herman Miller / Pedrali / Hay / Cab Deco / De Gaspé / Softline / Steelcase / Allermuir
Office walls: Haworth Cime
Stretch ceilings: INF Concept nc
Signage: Duvalcom Christian Duval
Removable wall: Corflex
All images © Maxime Brouillet.
All drawings © ACDF Architecture.
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