VAD Designers d’espaces—in collaboration with National Bank’s Premises Department—developed and orchestrated a new dynamic workspace concept at the financial corporation’s current head offices. The recently unveiled project — opened in early 2018 — introduces new ways of working, unfolding gradually across the floors of the National Bank Tower, located at 600 de la Gauchetière in central Montreal.
From this angle, four types of work zones can be seen : In the foreground, a large communal table welcomes quiet collaboration, while face-to-face privacy booths serve as an impromptu meeting area. On the left, a glass-enclosed phone booth allows confidentiality and noise control in an open layout. In the background, shared work benches are flooded with natural light. Photo: Stephane Brugger
Pursuing its momentum in collaboration and connectivity practices, National Bank’s new work environment takes place in a colourful sectored layout where transparency rules. Initiated by an important audit period, directed by the Premises Department, in collaboration with Gensler, the project was then handed to the designers at VAD, for interpretation.
The designers, playing with high contrast levels, opted for precise angles and clean breaks between pigments. Photo: Stephane Brugger
Benefiting from the building’s octagonal shape and its abundant natural lighting, the shared workstations and unassigned work benches border the windows, dispersed methodically to the rhythm of a palette of five pigmented hues. Colours and angles bounce off each other and serve as visual guides for the personnel.
A casual gathering space borders the glass-enclosed staircase linking the 18th and 19th floor. Photo: Stephane Brugger
Clear glass, brilliant colour and abundant light animate the meeting rooms, privacy nooks, and interactive areas, boldly redefining workplace standards and offering users a broad range of opportunities.
Collaboration zones and meeting rooms are easily identifiable, from anywhere on the floor, by the colorful blocks on the walls and ground. Photo: Stephane Brugger.
The new workspace is immersive, effective, intuitive and modern. It was conceived to promote the evolution of work methods, to encourage collaboration and mobility, and to foster employee well-being. The project’s main objective: to create a modern and refreshing environment, customized to the personnel’s needs.
The bistro can serve as a work-café, can host team events, or become an alternate meeting space, and lounge. Photo: Stephane Brugger.
Like a common thread orienting the design concept, the optimization of natural light sources and the vibrant colour palette reinforce the distinctive identity of the space, and facilitate its appropriation by the staff.
Some meeting rooms also feature a more subdued colour palette. Photo: Stephane Brugger.
With this transition towards a new work model, National Bank reassesses its position of an innovative financial institution, open to evolving office planning practices. The new environment, which is already occupied by a portion of the staff, will serve as a pilot project for the years to come; guiding the collaborative work methods through National Bank’s different departments, regrouped into smaller organized communities called “neighbourhoods.”