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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Contemporary interior of Slack, Toronto retains ethos of structure

Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Shai Gil; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
"Slack Toronto office Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Industrial felt lines the wall and ceiling of the reception area in a striated pattern by Felt Studio. The lowered ceiling offers a more intimate and welcoming area juxtaposed by the custom faceted reception desk and seating by Bensen and Normann Copenhagen.

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design’s interior architecture for tech start-up, Slack’s Toronto office reflects the firm’s defining values of empathy, solidarity, and craftsmanship…

San Francisco based Slack - the tech company that offers a revolutionary team communication app for businesses – has its Toronto office situated in a former knitting and textile factory in the heart of downtown Toronto. Three storeys within the interior of this mid-rise brick and beam building are redesigned to meet all the needs of the twenty-first century tech company, inspired both - by the building’s heritage and the company’s work culture.  

"Slack threads of communication Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Colourful networking cables that once again reinforce Slack’s brand colours are threaded throughout, along the ceiling and across walls, as visual accents.
"Slack peg boards Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Opposite the elevator, a pegboard fabricated by local Atelier Kozak greets guests with company slogans and logos. It can be reorganized by employees, inviting playfulness and creativity.

The space is imaginatively planned to reflect the company’s relationship with craft and technology. Keeping with the old function of the edifice, the project team drew from a “threads of communication” concept using linear geometries throughout the space, such as continuous angular light fixtures and coloured networking cables running through the length of the office on the ceiling and walls. These enliven the space in a homage to the lines of yarn that were used in the mechanized knitting process, while also referencing, in a metaphor of sorts, the communication service of the messaging application itself. 

In the reception area, the design team has worked with long-term collaborator Kathryn Walter of Felt Studio, who has wrapped diagonal strips of industrial felt along the walls and ceiling, to create a warm and inviting environment as soon as you step into the office.

"Slack coloured booths Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Breakout spaces in vivid colours are carved out of the central volume, for impromptu meetings and collaboration. These provide a contrast to the neutral palette of the workstations, with automated sit-to-stand desks and chairs by Herman Miller.
"Slack office old n new Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
The building perimeter features a series of lounges and meeting rooms, identified by textile names shown in the frosted privacy glass. Lounge spaces are informal and feature different furnishings for distinction, such as the Casalife chairs and the Muuto light fixture. Over the rest of the workstations, angled light fixtures by Lumenwerx provide continuous illumination.

A feature characteristic of the interior is the bold, contrasting pops of colour that demarcate distinct areas including solitary work stations, phone booths, break-out meeting rooms, a staff lounge and sleek executive boardroom. Each zone corresponds to a single colour that comprises Slack’s branding, reinforcing company identity, while also providing visual interest and relief to the otherwise yellow tones of the brick and wood interiors. 

"Slack office Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Meeting rooms are each coordinated around a different, bold colour. This room features a dark magenta carried through the Stylex chairs,Interface carpet, and Designtex acoustic wallcovering, which is offset by the whiteboard, Actiu meeting table edged in birch, and angled white light fixtures by Lumenwerx.
"Slack cafetaria Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
The communal cafĂ© functions as both a beverage station and a serving area for catered meals. For “all-hands” meetings, lounge chairs and tables by Actiu can be stacked and folded to make room for over one hundred employees.

Meeting rooms are uniform yet each unique, owing to their bold and varied colour scheme. Throughout, vibrantly coloured acoustic wall panelling matches textured carpeting and distinctive furniture pieces. The angular light fixtures appear to thread through the ceiling, knitting workspaces and meeting rooms together. The large communal cafe picks up on the linear theme again with its white and wood diagonal slat finish. 

"Slack break out space Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
Custom built-in benches and chairs by Normann Copenhagen are illuminated in the space by angular LED light fixtures recessed into the ceiling. Another pegboard here adds to the playfulness of this employee lounge
"Slack angular lighting Dubbeldam Architecture+Design indiaartndesign"
The elegant oak table by Vitra adds warmth to the executive boardroom. A dropped ceiling over the table conceals technical equipment for various teleconferencing functions, and provides greater acoustic performance. The same angular light fixture threads through the room as an allusion to the continuous lines found throughout the office. 

The interiors are varied enough to meet the functional requirements of 140 employees, but they also bring a sense of continuity and community to the workplace. The result is a fresh take on an old space that is serious about work, while offering a playful and comfortable space for its employees to succeed. Importantly, it is a harmonious merging of the old and the new without compromising on either.

Fact file:
Client: Tech company Slack
Architect Firm: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design
Project team: Heather Dubbeldam, Scott Sampson, Andrew Snow
Size: 23,000 sq. ft.
Location: Toronto, Canada

1 comment :

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