Metro Vancouver: Framing views of the communities they serve
Metro Vancouver wanted to embrace the latest design and technology as they moved into a brand-new building, leaving behind their previously enclosed workspaces. Metro Vancouver engaged us to develop an office of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and internal cultural development, while also giving them spatial flexibility for the future as the nature of office work evolves.
Metro Vancouver staff were initially concerned about an open-plan concept, so the pressure was on to create a viable alternative to a closed environment.
Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors includes the mayors of the 21 municipalities they support. Working in the public sector, Metro Vancouver faces media scrutiny and public pressure, so all expenditures had to be justified while also adhering to sustainability principles.
Working within tight deadlines, we partnered with Metro Vancouver for a visioning process in which the team identified their business goals for the space. To drive change management, the new workplace was presented as a 'menu of spaces', offering open and closed work and collaboration areas. This gave staff a choice for how and where they wanted to work during the day. Stakeholders also tested workstation mock-ups before a final selection was made.
By providing Metro Vancouver's public sector workers with an open and inclusive environment, they are now able to work in a space that fosters collaboration and empowers them to perform at their best.
By strategically placing private offices and meeting rooms in the centre of each floor, we ensured that every employee would have access to breathtaking views at the windows of group work areas and shared-amenity spaces.
Natural materials and a green wall of living plants added vitality to the workplace. The bistro-style cafeteria provides catering for meetings, board members, staff and guests.
Office and workstation footprints can evolve to accommodate a flexible in-office and work-from-home schedule, depending on the team’s needs.
The space was future-proofed by allowing boundaries between departments to shift without requiring extensive demolition and construction. The concepts easily facilitate the implementation of COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
The new workplace gave Metro Vancouver the chance to re-engage with its mission through a commanding view of the communities they serve.
The space acts as an asset to help Metro Vancouver to attract and retain talent, and enables their public-sector professionals to collaborate, share knowledge, and perform at their best. Recognized throughout the design community, the project won the Award of Merit from the Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia (IDIBC) in 2018.
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