Conceptualized as an opportunity to showcase the firm’s design culture, HOK’s Toronto studio created their new office as a canvas to experiment with workplace concepts.
Excerpted from Contract Magazine:
The eight-sided 16,000-square-foot interior is home to 150 total staff, including architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and interior designers. The configuration provides for maximum flexibility with hospitality-inspired vignettes that encourage collaboration and a relaxed feel.
A hotel-like reception area welcomes visitors and is also used by HOK staff for casual meetings. Immediately adjacent are three conference rooms, a lounge, and an area that doubles as the cafe and library. The multifunctional cafe—which includes an open kitchen, communal tables, and high-density shelving—hosts town halls, lunch-and-learn sessions, and other impromptu gatherings. Materials and fabrics are stored on the shelving, and discussions related to project finishes occur at nearby tables. “You’re compelled to keep [the materials] organized, since the shelving is exposed,” explains Sharon Turner, a senior designer with HOK.
An open studio, which wraps around most of the central core, employs what HOK calls the “agile station” concept—a variation on hoteling in which employees have multiple seating choices, with sit-stand desks throughout. In planning for efficiency, HOK completed an internal survey; results indicated that about 30 employees were out of the office so frequently that 20 nondedicated seats would suffice for their workspace needs.