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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Slack Toronto Office in Canada by DUBBELDAM Architecture + Design

April 1st, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: v2com 

Slack, the world’s fastest growing tech company in history, is a San Francisco based startup offering a revolutionary team communication app for business. After just a handful of years, the company had already opened offices around the globe including Vancouver, New York, Melbourne, London, and Dublin. Each office occupies a former industrial building with interiors that honour the property’s legacy, renew its productivity, and reflect Slack’s values of empathy, solidarity, and craftsmanship.

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 for guests, who are greeted by the custom faceted reception desk, the company logo, a television showcasing the company’s latest flattering “love tweets,” and seating by Bensen and Normann Copenhagen, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

  • Architects: DUBBELDAM Architecture + Design
  • Project: Slack Toronto Office
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Photography: Shai Gil
  • Project Team: Heather Dubbeldam, Scott Sampson, Andrew Snow
  • Size: 23,000 s.f.
  • Completion: 2017

Inspired by Scandinavian design, the millwork in the café features diagonal painted wood slats in Baltic birch, reinforcing linearity throughout the open spaces, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

For their Toronto location Slack sought to create an imaginative space that reflected their company culture and its relationship with craft and technology. Set 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 were redesigned to meet all the needs of a twenty-first century tech company, inspired both by the building’s heritage and the company’s work culture.

The communal café 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, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

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 an homage to the lines of yarn that were used in the mechanized knitting process, while also referencing the communication service of the messaging application itself. In the reception area, the design team worked with long-term collaborator Kathryn Walter of Felt Studio who wrapped diagonal strips of industrial felt along the walls and ceiling, creating a warm and inviting environment as soon as you step into the office.

Breakout spaces in vivid colours are carved out of the central volume, for impromptu meetings and collaboration. These provide a contrast to the netural palette of the workstations, with automated sit-to-stand desks and chairs by Herman Miller, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

The building perimeter features a series of lounges and meeting rooms, which are 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 shown here and the Muuto light fixture. Over the rest of the workstations, angled light fixtures by Lumenwerx provide continuous illumination, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

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. Meeting rooms are uniform yet each unique, owing to their bold and varied colour scheme. Throughout, vibrantly coloured acoustic wall paneling 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. 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.

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, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

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, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is a multi-disciplinary studio based in Toronto, committed to advancing an architectural and social agenda through built work and design research.

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, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Colourful networking cables that once again reinforce Slack’s brand colours are threaded throughout the workspaces, along the ceiling and across walls, as visual accents, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Dubbeldam’s portfolio includes a diverse range of commercial, institutional, hospitality, mixed-use and residential projects. The firm has been recognized by numerous awards for design excellence and practice, and has garnered wide international recognition.

Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

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, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

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