Slack, the world’s fastest growing tech company in history, is a San Francisco based start-up 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, Paris and Dublin.
Location: Toronto | Completion: 2017 | Size: 23,000 s.f
Interiors: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design
Project Team: Heather Dubbeldam, Scott Sampson, Andrew Snow
Lighting: Marcel Dion Lighting Design
Photography: Shai Gil
For more information, please contact: Heather Dubbeldam
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Dubbeldam Architecture + Design: www.dubbeldam.ca
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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.
For their Toronto location Slack retained Dubbeldam Architecture + Design 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 design 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.
A feature characteristic of the interior is the bold, contrasting pops of colour that demarcate distinct areas including solitary workstations, 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. According to principal Heather Dubbeldam, “The interior spaces 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”.
Dubbeldam Architecture + Design
Founded in 2002, Dubbeldam Inc. Architecture + Design (DA+D) is an award-winning, full service architectural practice located in Toronto Canada, recognized for creating projects that demonstrate design clarity, thoughtful planning, and rigorous attention to detail. Founded by architect Heather Dubbeldam, the studio has grown to include a team of architects and designers from different backgrounds and disciplines. DA+D’s portfolio consists of a diverse range of projects including a mixed-use retail/residential/educational project in Batawa, Ontario; a daycare centre; office renovations for Slack Technologies, Azure Magazine, Travelzoo, Informa Exhibitions and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA); numerous residential projects; and hospitality design for Dark Horse Espresso Bar, Wallace Espresso, the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto and the Walper Hotel in Kitchener, Ontario. The commitment to design excellence has earned DA+D more than 50 awards and wide recognition in national and international publications.
Dubbeldam is the recipient of the 2016 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council, one of the oldest and most prestigious prizes in architecture created to recognize outstanding achievement in Canadian architecture. With this prize the studio has undertaken a research project entitled ‘The Next Green – Innovation in Sustainability Through Design’, which entails travel to Scandinavia and Germany to study and disseminate sustainable research and precedents for northern climates. Principal Heather Dubbeldam has become a regular speaker at conferences and universities across the Canada, educating and advocating for change.