canada collaboration modern Office open plan Ottawa Projects

Ottawa’s Iconic Bank of Canada Gets a Modern Refresh

The atrium becomes a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography.

Bank of Canada duties Perkins + Will with the problem of creating a trendy office inside a historic constructing. 

For almost a century, the Bank of Canada has been an architectural image within the coronary heart of Canada’s capital, holding a outstanding place within the metropolis’s historical past and concrete material. Bank of Canada management shared a imaginative and prescient for a refreshed, interactive office, and tasked Perkins+Will with designing a trendy legacy for the establishment that may rework operations inside the brand new headquarters.

Accomplished in 1938, the Bank of Canada’s late neoclassical granite constructing was reimagined by celebrated architect Arthur Erickson within the late 1970s by way of the addition of hovering glass towers anchored by an expansive 12-story atrium and open-plan office. Whereas extraordinarily progressive for its time, Erickson’s unique design had advanced over time and main upgrades have been required to satisfy 21st century efficiency requirements.

The ensuing renovations reworked how the office operates and interfaces with the general public realm, equipping the Bank with a modernized headquarters that may foster a tradition of collaboration and exceed operational wants for many years to return.

When was the challenge accomplished? 


How a lot area?  

835,000 GSF

Was this new or renovated area?


SF per individual?  

479 SF per individual

What number of staff?

Roughly 1,700

Interior foliage references both Architect Arthur Erickson’s love of the Canadian landscape and enhances a workplace culture that promotes wellness. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography.Inside foliage references each Architect Arthur Erickson’s love of the Canadian panorama and enhances a office tradition that promotes wellness. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

What’s common every day inhabitants?

Roughly 1,600

Is there a cellular work or work-from-home coverage? In that case, what % of staff are distant staff?    

Sure. To accommodate the various wants of staff, the Bank of Canada provides a selection of versatile work preparations, which embrace the choice of teleworking. The financial institution additionally has employees who work at their regional workplaces.

Describe workspace varieties.

Open plan

What variety of assembly areas are offered? 

Versatile, technology-enabled areas together with non-typical environments similar to lounge areas and assembly tables.

What different type of help area or amenity areas are offered?

The brand new workplace options an IdeaSpace: an innovation lab with a distinctive appear and feel that evokes creativity. A 12-storey atrium consists of a café and media useful resource centre. The adjoining Bank of Canada Museum options an inviting entrance inside an outside presentation area. Meals and beverage providers on the bottom flooring of the constructing and built-in consuming areas all through the constructing make lunch breaks extra environment friendly.

Has the undertaking achieved any particular certifications? 

Pursuing LEED® Certification

To maintain the visual integrity of the iconic mirrored façade, a dynamic buffer zone was installed which layered a second skin of glass inside the building envelope. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. To take care of the visible integrity of the long-lasting mirrored façade, a dynamic buffer zone was put in which layered a second pores and skin of glass contained in the constructing envelope. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

What’s the challenge’s location and proximity to public transportation and/or different facilities?

The undertaking is situated within the coronary heart of Ottawa, steps from the federal legislature. The workplace is immediately served by eight bus strains and the Confederation LRT line, which is scheduled to be accomplished in 2019. It’s surrounded by the Sparks Road pedestrian mall, the Nationwide Arts Centre, and a few of one of the best eating places within the metropolis.

Was the C-suite concerned within the challenge planning and design course of? In that case, how?

Within the strategy planning stage of the challenge, the Board of Administrators requested the financial institution to take a look at all choices for how you can proceed with upgrading the power. Relocating completely was one choice. Staying within the facility and enterprise the renovations in a phased strategy over a number of years was a second. The third choice was relocating briefly and finishing the renovations over a shorter interval of time. The financial institution selected the third choice.

Quite a few information-gathering periods have been held with financial institution management to research how staff have been using present areas. In response, the design staff confidently moved away from personal workspaces to an open setting. All inside modifications consciously drive a future-thinking office. Versatile, non-typical areas create motion and price efficiencies in constructing operations.

What type of programming or visioning actions have been used?

Early within the course of, Perkins+Will partnered with the Bank of Canada to carry out an in depth heritage audit and session with the group to determine which architectural parts might and ought to be preserved. Erickson’s unique imaginative and prescient concerned a seamless integration of structure and panorama, which was the first inspiration for the brand new design.

Main floor services for employees include onboarding and IT services, a media resource center and a café. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. Essential flooring providers for workers embrace onboarding and IT providers, a media useful resource middle and a café. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

Have been any pre-planning surveys carried out to get worker enter?

Sure, surveys have been despatched to the Bank staff to collect info for programming and planning functions.  An amenity survey was despatched out to collect statistics on the use of the present amenities, what facilities might be higher carried out, and what new facilities must be thought-about.

Have been there another variety of worker engagement actions?

Bank employees have been consulted at every stage of the design course of, and each division contributed to the design of their very own flooring, selecting custom-made configurations to go well with their work types. Employees additionally had a say within the furnishings design, which led to the introduction of ergonomic chairs and stand-up desks.

Have been any change administration initiatives employed?

Sure, change administration was carried out by a marketing consultant retained by the financial institution.

Confident triangular forms double as seating, encouraging gathering at the entrance of the Bank of Canada Museum. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. Assured triangular types double as seating, encouraging gathering on the entrance of the Bank of Canada Museum. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

Please describe any program necessities that have been distinctive or required any particular analysis or design necessities.

The Bank of Canada needed to undertake a new dialogue with the guests and residents of the town by investing in public areas round its head workplace. Now accessible to the general public at grade, the newly reimagined Bank of Canada Museum offers direct schooling by way of interactive reveals, programming, and the Nationwide Foreign money Assortment. Admission is free. The East plaza was additionally redesigned as a vibrant area for native residents, guests and Bank staff to collect and benefit from the outdoor.

Was there any emphasis or necessities on programming for well being and wellbeing initiatives for workers?

Sure. A complete evaluation by each financial institution employees and exterior specialists decided that the power wanted to be upgraded to align with trendy necessities for well being and security requirements and seismic stability, and to raised meet the financial institution’s evolving safety and enterprise necessities.

The final main replace to the financial institution’s head workplace occurred within the 1970s with Erickson’s addition of the atrium and glass towers. The necessities for a protected and environment friendly work place have advanced significantly since that point, as have the safety and technological necessities for a G7 central financial institution.

Renewing the top workplace was additionally a chance to make it extra power environment friendly and environmentally sustainable. The buildings’ methods—air flow, heating, plumbing and electrical—had reached the top of their lifespan. The buildings have been additionally upgraded to deal with seismic, safety, and well being and questions of safety. For instance, the buildings wanted to be outfitted with sprinkler methods and extra exits in case of emergency.

The renewal additionally introduced a chance so as to add new well being and wellbeing initiatives. The BeneFIT Centre (fitness center) and the Wellness Centre, together with Kitchen and Meals Servery, Café grab-n-go, Information Centre and Information Hub and the innovation lab (IdeaSpace) are all programming necessities to profit the workers.

Skylights connect the plaza with the Bank of Canada Museum. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. Skylights join the plaza with the Bank of Canada Museum. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

Have been there any particular or uncommon development supplies or methods employed within the undertaking?

Darkish bronze metallic, angled glass and green-black granite sourced from Quebec have been used to enrich the constructing’s present design. The interiors incorporate regional supplies and producers from the granite stone to the demountable partitions and furnishings from Canadian Corporations. 1,000 present Marcel Breuer Cesca Chairs have been refurbished, reupholstered in vibrant jewel tones and reused all through the financial institution.  Present Arthur Erickson desks have been reused in a personal telephone room on each tower flooring.

What merchandise or service options are making the most important influence in your area?

Probably the most vital influence stems from the mixing of modular work areas and assembly areas that are capable of help each working perform, from quiet isolation to conferences and dealing teams. Inside areas now encourage face-to-face connection to allow information trade and help teamwork, which is important within the speedy tempo of as we speak’s related enterprise world. The choice of versatile furnishings resulted in collaborative areas that may rework because the Bank’s enterprise wants evolve.

What type of branding parts have been included into the design?

The colour palette for the inside design was impressed by the colours of financial institution notes.  Through the design course of, the Bank of Canada launched all their new colourful foreign money. The design workforce was impressed by the colours and created a heat and funky palette from the financial institution notes. These colours have been carried out within the finishes and furnishings from the east to the west towers. Shades of pink and orange to greens and blues dot the inside panorama offering power and vibrancy all through the area.

What’s the most original function of the brand new area? 

The redesigned public plaza options dramatic crystalline triangles which rise from under grade, juxtaposing the structure and skyline. The plaza consists of beneficiant outside seating, greenery, and a presentation area. Sculpted pavilions impressed by Canadian glaciers body the general public realm.

Interiors that encourage face-to-face connections enable knowledge exchange in the workplace. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. Interiors that encourage face-to-face connections allow information trade within the office. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

Are there any furnishings or areas particularly included to advertise wellness/wellbeing?

All workspaces are constructed with ergonomics in thoughts, together with standing desks and supportive, adjustable chairs. Versatile areas additionally permit and encourage staff to create an setting that helps particular person working types, each collaborative and social, and extra quiet and secluded. The Bank has additionally deployed lighter laptops which, mixed with seamless Wi-Fi all through the constructing, permit employees to increase their “office” past particular person desks.

The atrium becomes a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. The atrium turns into a area for information sharing and collaboration. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

What type of know-how merchandise have been used?

All assembly rooms are outfitted with AV and know-how integration. A full-service convention centre is included in addition to a Broadcast Auditorium. Wi-fi connectivity all through the financial institution supplies freedom to maneuver and entry various work zones anyplace within the buildings. Digital Room Reservation methods have been included inside the Convention Centre and Centre Constructing Assembly Rooms.

How did the corporate talk concerning the modifications and strikes?

All strikes and transfer planning have been organized and communicated in collaboration with representatives from the financial institution’s departments. Modifications and details about the renovated workplaces and momentary lodging have been delivered on the Bank’s inner web site. Communications have been broadcast by numerous financial institution officers, together with the governor.

Previous to the Finish State transfer, excursions have been carried out all through the financial institution. The financial institution and the design staff carried out onsite excursions to the departmental representatives of each area and amenity inside the constructing. Excursions have been then offered for all financial institution employees, led by their departmental representatives.

Moreover, the financial institution and design group, together with a marketing consultant, produced an animated video and flythrough of the complete constructing previous to completion of the challenge as a welcome video message in French and English that was distributed to all financial institution staff.

Flexible, non-typical spaces create movement and cost efficiencies in building operations. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. Versatile, non-typical areas create motion and price efficiencies in constructing operations. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.

Have been there submit occupancy surveys? In that case, what have been probably the most shocking or illuminating or hoped-for outcomes?

Sure, post-occupancy surveys have been carried out following the transfer to a relocation area so as to achieve perception and suggestions that continued to information the design group. Hopes and Fears for the Finish State design have been documented.  The Bank hoped for “Intelligent” Versatile Area, to protect the power, and unify the financial institution.  The financial institution initially nervous that a discount in personal workplaces may impression recruitment and retention.

Since shifting again, the employees response to the brand new area has been overwhelmingly constructive.

Inform us extra!

Structure and Inside Design: Perkins+Will

MEP Engineer: Bouthillette Parizeau

Development Administration: PCL Development

Panorama Architect: DTAH

Heritage Marketing consultant: EVOQ Structure

The original 1938 bank building surrounded by Arthur Erickson’s 1970s mirrored towers. Image courtesy of Doublespace Photography. The unique 1938 financial institution constructing surrounded by Arthur Erickson’s 1970s mirrored towers. Picture courtesy of Doublespace Images.