2013 Dec 02

As the internal business of Industrial was changing and we made the decision to start the rebranding process for the agency, it became apparent that our office space would need a huge reconfiguration to support the open-space, collaborative working environment that we wanted.  When we found our new space – fully gutted, with beautiful, big windows on three sides – we knew we couldn’t pass it up.  We were setting up shop as the newest Westboro agency: Industrial.

Original Industrial office space before renovations began

The three-month period spent fitting up the space was exciting for everyone, and felt a lot like the process we follow when we build a new website for a client.

During the strategy phase, we worked with Ottawa’s Robertson Martin Architects.  We started with a needs analysis, where we discussed our strategic vision for the space and also defined our physical requirements.  For instance, it was important to our vision that there would be distinct breakout areas for collaboration and brainstorming.

From this meeting, RMA developed our floor plan – the wireframe for our new office.  Once the physical requirements were set, we talked about the look and feel for the space.  It was important that our new space would reflect the new Industrial brand.  RMA put together a “moodboard” visual to express the combination of the agreed upon lighting, flooring, millwork, and paint finishes that would come together to create the right look to support the brand.

Materials and colours for the Industrial office space

The Industrial brand is bold, yet refined, and we wanted that to come across in our space.  Exposed duct work, OSB chipboard walls, exposed conduits, unfinished steel door and window frames – all of the raw and beautiful materials to express our method/madness philosophy.  The overall impression would be methodical, patterned, and yet unexpected in pops of neon and dynamic lighting. We perfectly achieved the balance between industrial and warmth; two things that don’t commonly go together.

Original design drawings for the Industrial office space

We worked with Huntington Properties’ Derek Noble throughout the implementation and support stages of this project.  His firm took us from the plans that RMA delivered to the reality that we’re in today.

Step by step, Derek took us through the process of fitting up the space.  He managed each trade coming through the space, and kept Jeff and I engaged and involved in the kinds of on-the-fly decisions that are bound to arise in a project like this.  We did regular site tours and were able to track the progress of our office as it came together.

The framing phase of construction at the Industrial office

Derek and his team really took the Industrial vision to heart, and so much of who we are as a brand and as an agency is showcased in the new office.  I love the whole space, but one of my favourite elements is still the great, natural light that we get from having so many windows.  It’s a comfortable feeling, yet totally energizing.

Walls being finished during construction at the Industrial office

Seeing people in the space after working through this process from start to finish is what makes it so rewarding.  Our office works for us, our brand, our vision, and the way that we do our work.  There are still some details that have yet to be incorporated that we are excited to see (the OSB chipboard feature walls and our laser cut steel logo), but we are happy to have arrived in Westboro. The new Industrial has a new home.

Photo collage of the new Industrial office space following construction