The rapid growth of this Fortune 500 global corporation called for a new modern facility that reinforced their innovative and strategic position in the marketplace. dpai helped to synthesize their teams into a centralized location that would exemplify their shared values. Covering two large irregular shaped floors, the 60,000sf innovative workspace is located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines; its inhabitants injecting and revitalizing the core. The project creates synergies and adds human-centered wellness spaces such as Yoga Studio, Treadmill Workstation Area, Mothers’ and Prayer rooms. The space affords social spaces and private spaces for a balance of work and rest for this talented and dynamic workforce. Social spaces dual purpose as meeting and gathering spaces, such as the “Stadium” tiered seating areas. Large windows in all areas for both floors enable an abundance of natural light to filter in. The layouts support and accommodate growth and flexibility, while the entirety of the workspace helps to attract and retain the best talent.
Black and white contrasting field finishes and architectural wrapped forms combine with strategic splashes of saturated colour reinforcing brand identity. The saturated colour provides wayfinding to fun social gathering and collaboration spaces. A sculpturally formed reception desk and biophilic elements define the first impression. A wrap up acoustic felt drop ceiling and custom serpentine accent lighting provide a warm quiet hug upon entering. A semi-private workspace including snack bar serves as a touch-down space for guests, while hidden closets tuck away guest valises. The high-level security systems are well integrated yet recede and the Client Innovation space is a mere sampling of the vast amount of, yet visually quiet audiovisual technology throughout the space.
This architecture, interiors and urban design studio is located on the 18th floor of a corporate office tower in the core of a city in the throes of robust renewal. The space was designed collaboratively by the entire team of designers and support staff that occupy it. Bathed in natural light, every workstation in the studio is provided with unobstructed city views. There are no private offices, which eliminates hierarchy and nurtures collaboration among the team. The firm has gained a new level of connection with their work by being literally enveloped by the city. In fact, many of the firm’s projects are visible from the studio.All existing ceilings and floor finishes were removed. Most of the final interior design incorporates exposed concrete floors and ceilings to increase the perception of height and create a raw aesthetic feel to the space, aligning with the firm’s penchant for simple, clear and minimal design solutions. Balancing the rawness of the exposed concrete are whispers of light wood and soft, supple handed textiles in hues of pink and yellow. Multi-coloured throw rugs in blues, pinks and yellows soften the concrete floor while a rocking chair beckons you to sit awhile. Swaths of pink interior glazing seen immediately upon entering the studio lend a rosy hue to dramatic sunsets.
The open multi-purpose area functions as a waiting room for clients, vendors and guests; a café; a lunchroom; and event space for world events, news, movies, continuing education lunch-and-learns, informal meetings and workspace. Here, a series of programmed and facilitated panel discussions are regularly held to discuss design and policy issues affecting the city and its residents, facilitating deeper community connections. The space is designed to employ two main axes, east-west + north-south. Expansive glazing permits the space to be as open as possible, connecting you with your surroundings instantly upon entry to the studio, and from anywhere on the floor. This connection immediately orients you giving a sense of ease and comfort the moment you arrive. The Boardroom and Fabrication Lab + Materials Library are clearly visible upon arrival and provide critical infrastructure for experimentation and innovation, housing a 3D printer, laser cutter, cutters, full virtual reality capabilities and materials samples. The entire studio is equipped with wi-fi helping to enable this agile workspace. A shower and nap room round out the facilities, provided to support a variety of different work and lifestyles. The space is designed to support a positive and collaborative work culture based on a clear set of shared values.
The building dates from 1890 and was originally home to the Hamilton Buggy Whip Manufacturing company. When acquired in 2012, siding blocked its expansive windows and the interior was timeworn from its previous uses. The post and beam structure and interior brick surfaces were cleaned of many years of paint and left exposed to reveal the building’s history to its new inhabitants. The project has received a great deal of positive community attention and local support and was awarded a Heritage Property Conservation Award from the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee. The second floor is home to downtown Hamilton’s first co-working space. Two glazed meeting rooms/breakaway spaces were provided along the eastern wall. Central to the space is a lounge with tiered upholstered seating that face the staircase projection wall. Along the western and southern walls is the kitchen/café space, which boasts clean minimal white counters and a touchdown station running along the length of windows. The lounge and the touchdown station are fully wired, offering secondary working spaces. They also offer great flexibility for holding community events, lunch and learns, movie nights and presentations.
2013 Heritage Property Conservation Award, Hamilton Municipal Heritage CommitteePublicity
BUILDING MAGAZINE – Canada, May 2017, Share and Share Alike, The Seedworks Urban Offices.
This office interior renovation provides a new home for Real Properties, the property managers of Jackson Square Mall in Hamilton. Real Properties wanted an office that matched their recent rebranding efforts across the 40-year-old mall. They decided to move locations for their new office from an office unit in a tower attached to the mall, to a more unique and prominent unit on the plaza level of the mall. The existing space was a raw concrete space, initially designed to be a restaurant, but was never developed.
The space was designed as a procession from public functions in the front to private functions in the back. The continuous space is comprised of two distinct portions, a lower one overlooking the plaza, and double height space towards the back. The double height space received very little natural light. However, by carefully reviewing existing drawings dating back to the 1970s, a blocked-in clerestory window was discovered. Opening and reactivating this feature transformed the quality of the space. For the new office, Yale properties were shifting from a private office model to an open plan design. This required in-depth client feedback during the schematic design phase.
Along with the open plan office space, the client wanted a private meeting space, a board room, a visible reception point with access control, and a gathering area. Throughout the project, Baltic birch millwork is utilized as a space defining tool, dividing and connecting spaces. The design combines existing finishes with new finishes, exposed natural raw textures with clean uniform surfaces, and soft materials against harder ones. The branding and cultural objectives of the client were achieved by designing an office that matches their fresh new image and provides a space that facilitates a new collaborative office culture.
The second floor of a three-storey commercial warehouse in Toronto’s oldest standing row of buildings, is now home to a busy, real estate, design PR Firm. dpai was commissioned to design an interior space that enables the firm’s flexible and collaborative work style, while functionally and aesthetically aligning with the firm’s creative philosophy.
The existing textured, minimalist palette was emphasized. A boardroom and a pitch room were carved out with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions. At the back of the space, a new kitchenette opens onto an informal lounge area and a touch-down station was paired with lockable file storage.
The large, custom pendant fixture by Toronto’s Lightmaker Studio was intimately suspended over a modular custom sofa set upholstered in bright, eclectic fabrics. The blackened brass of the pendant fixture echoes the existing steel hoist beam, which lent a helpful hand in the fixture’s installation.
The Caroline Family Health Team of Burlington, with eight physicians, allied health professionals and support staff required more space to house their busy practice. Several ideas were explored through feasibility studies, with the resulting solution to relocate the practice to a more suitable location with a total interior renovation to meet the needs of the clinic. The project explored the adaptation of a specific, user-generated design to an existing industrial “big box” space. The office layout was developed through participatory design workshops which included the entire clinic’s staff and the dpai team.
dpai led the interior design, FFE, tender and contract administration services for Grant Thornton’s (GT) Hamilton branch. Project goals included creation of an interior space befitting GT values, provision of client engagement, entertainment opportunities, and ultimately a space that has a transformative effect on and supports greater connection between team members and clients. This budget friendly interior design project modernized the space with minimal demolition or revision to the interior architecture. A fresh, modern, warm, unique and fun environment with a focus on biophilic elements was created. New modern furniture was chosen to increase sight lines and connection between team members, provide diverse collaboration opportunities, and accommodate various working styles of a team who often work varied hours throughout the year. A fresh, modern reception area greets visitors with a view to the café work lounge beyond on the main level. The new café work lounge provides bar top workspaces, providing a view to the urban park outside. On the 2nd level, two new touchdown, quiet spaces, a quiet lounge area with soft seating, and a newly enlarged area with updated kitchen complete with an ice well and live wood harvest table for client and team kitchen parties round out the interior space.
dpai led a series of renewal projects in Jackson Square Mall Complex in Hamilton’s core, including renewal studies, entrance renovations, new washrooms, and branding development with BRANDSPACE.
Comprising six blocks of densely knit urban fabric at the Cartesian origin point of downtown life in the city, Jackson Square’s scale – a nine hectare footprint, composed of 390,000 square feet of retail space, an equal area of office space, and several civic and cultural institutions – easily dominates its surroundings.
Renewal and rehabilitation of the Complex is crucial to urban growth strategies in central Hamilton and reclamation of the Core as a vital locus of civic and commercial activity.
The Cannon Knitting Mills are a historic complex of industrial buildings in Hamilton, dating back as early as the mid-19th century. The Mills were for generations an economic powerhouse in Hamilton as home to the Chipman-Holton Knitting Co. The buildings’ history is ready to be reclaimed as plans are drawn for its next chapter — as pioneers in sustainable urban growth strategies, DPAI has been at the forefront of envisioning the rebirth of the Cannon Knitting Mills as a community and entrepreneurial hub in the city.
With a footprint of half a city block and rising to three to four storeys, the Mills are capable of housing a diverse and mutually-supporting range of programmatic activity, from live-work studio space opening onto Beasley Park, open-plan office space in century-old brick warehouse, to large public exhibition space and atrium and a brew-pub in the cavernous old boiler room. The complex will be extensively renovated with new sprinkler, mechanical and electrical systems. The existing timber frame structure will be restored and repaired as required. The final scheme will incorporate 90 new residential units with storage and amenity space included. New retail/ commercial space at street level will be incorporated.
The Cannon Knitting Mills looms over Beasley Park: at 110,000 square feet of the richest urban industrial space in Hamilton, the complex of five adjoined brick buildings is poised to be a game-changer in the city’s already-rapid downtown renaissance. With portions dating to the 1850s, the complex stands as a monument to Hamilton’s urban-architectural grace of a rich industrial heritage. DPAI is proud to be leading the ongoing development strategies for this pivotal project.