Steelcase Toronto Worklife Centre
When Steelcase decided to move its Canadian showroom from the suburbs to a downtown location the workplace furnishings company approached superkül to assist them create a noteworthy environment.
superkül’s solution was to create three ‘pods’ – a classroom, an open teleconferencing area and a lounge – reflecting Steelcase’s mandate for a dynamic, interactive and technologically sophisticated workplace, while introducing a welcoming scale into the complexity of the existing architecture’s proportions. The playful and very architectural solution of three rhombus-shaped pods collapse and expand the interior, framing particular views, delineating different zones, while also tying the whole space together. As visitors step off
the elevator their gaze is channeled into the showroom through an opening at the end of a white faceted frame; a glimpse of the skyline building intrigue as guests are led through narrow white oak passageway that opens up into the main space, while subtly nodding to the showroom’s Canadian identity. Inside, an expansive, bright white interior opens along the entire south-facing wall to spectacular views of Toronto’s business district – the very location Steelcase hopes to outfit. To the right of the entrance, a flexible hospitality counter welcomes visitors. Within the main space, open workstations and flexible vignettes and a small bank of enclosed work and meeting areas display various products for the collaborative workplaces of the future. Steelcase’s own Pathways Low Profile Floor conceals all wires and allows the space to be easily reconfigured to accommodate changing layouts and technological needs.
Pods flank either end of the plan. At the west end, glass doors lead into the “Learning Centre,” a flexible classroom and training space. At the east end, an angular white entrance shelters a more intimate “Customer Oasis.” Unlike traditional showrooms, WorkLife is designed as an open office for mobile working with no distinction between workspace and sales floor; the Toronto sales team works at the same workstations shown to clients, in an immersive experience that encourages interaction and fosters creativity.
Steelcase Toronto WorkLife is targeting LEED Gold certification. Sustainability
measures included flexible and daylight responsive lighting and a 30% increase in outdoor air ventilation rates. Where possible construction materials were salvaged or refurbished and new construction materials with recycled content selected; at least 75% of construction, demolition and packaging debris was recycled or salvaged. FSCcertified material and low VOC sealants, paints, primers and carpet were used throughout.