FLEX at Place Ville Marie
By : VAD Designers d'espaces
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Interior Design
Categories : Office / Co working : Silver Certification
Categories : Office / Agile work Environment : Gold Certification
To meet the evolving needs of the tenants at one of its most iconic and prestigious real estate complexes, Ivanhoé Cambridge recently launched FLEX: an innovative workspace solution at Place Ville Marie (PVM) designed to support collaboration and provide a high-quality hospitality experience.
The 11,000-square-foot space offers an array of accessible and flexible meeting spaces and workspaces equipped with cutting-edge collaborative technology in an environment that supports and promotes well-being.
Design studio VAD was commissioned to develop the space, and they viewed Ivanhoé Cambridge’s request as an opportunity to materialize the fruit of a lengthy reflection surrounding the evolving workplace in a post-pandemic era. FLEX was imagined as an inclusive and inviting setting that fosters a sense of community among PVM’s tenant community. Collaborative rooms and workspaces, equipped with cutting-edge technology, can be reserved by the hour, day, week, or month. Inspired by the brand identity and strategic directions of the business campus, the design of FLEX was conceived in the spirit of continuity with the PVM ecosystem. Its cool and casual ambiance and refined materiality instinctively remind us of the aesthetic developed at Le Cathcart – PVM’s unique dining hall.
Entering the FLEX, one is welcomed into a comfortable lounge area where rhythmic patterns through the flooring and wall panelling converge with a rich Mid-century modern-influenced color scheme. Developed specifically for the client by VAD, the unique patterned rugs that adorn the entrance and meeting spaces were inspired by PVM’s brand identity. Through each of the space typologies, a unique creation is discovered. Strengthening the identity of the space, they act almost as floor artwork.
A selection of noble materials in neutral tones is paired with brighter color accents to create a balance of elegance and dynamism. Contrasting with impressive openings and views toward the buzzing downtown cityscape, the interior spaces are enveloped by the warm presence of wood and lush vegetation that adds a touch of freshness.
The main reception area is intended as a place for exchange and gathering. With the aim of deconstructing the traditional reception model, the designers imagined a kitchen space with a large L-shaped counter that doubles as a reception counter. A generous island serves as a dining area, an alternative workspace surface, and a bar space for events and gatherings. The centerpiece of the kitchen is an impressive interactive mural, signed by Montreal artist Olivier Charland (MASSIVart). The installation features knobs that allow visitors to interact with the work see it evolve with their interaction. From the early stages of the project, the client expressed their desire to make FLEX a true showcase of local art.
At PVM’s FLEX, color is celebrated. Like a gallery, the white walls and pale natural oak floors act as a neutral canvas, ready to receive the burst of colorful elements superimposed in the space. Bright colors such as red and blue and green are present in the rugs, furniture, plants, and accessories.
Perched on the 29th floor of 1 PVM, the FLEX offers breathtaking views of downtown and of the mountain. After passing through the reception and kitchen area, visitors are invited to enjoy the Jardin Inspira space. Humà Design + Architecture is the firm behind the garden’s design concept, having won the Défi-Design idea competition hosted by Index-Design in partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge. Influenced by English gardens, which are defined by winding paths that open onto picturesque views, Humà proposes a path along a glass bay window, punctuated by clusters of their custom-made rugs and furniture in lush vegetation.
Opening onto the Jardin area, a large multipurpose room with immersive collaboration technology allows for large-scale hybrid meetings. The space can also be subdivided using a removable partition system, allowing it to be configured as a classroom, press room, conference center, and more.
The Genèse space, a room designed for more informal brainstorming meetings, immerses visitors in a creative and playful atmosphere. VAD designed custom acoustic elements such as ceiling baffles, a textured mural element and another tailor-made rug thought out to give the space a strong identity and exceptional sound comfort.
The FLEX was imagined and designed according to the fundamental principles of the WELL™ certification. With two WELL™ accredited professionals on its team, VAD was able to propose a range of strategies that were deployed in the design. As a result, the FLEX meets the majority of the certification’s qualifying criteria.
Optimal spatial planning, for example, provides access to natural light and views for as many users as possible. Circadian lighting technology promotes energy efficiency and user comfort. The FLEX also offers visual and physical connections to biophilic elements through the generous integration of plants and the use of textures and patterns that evoke organic and living matter.
The health and safety of the occupants were also a priority during the design of the FLEX. Aligned with ergonomic and universal accessibility criteria, the furniture that was chosen throughout promotes comfort and flexibility. Filtered water is also available at various locations around the space. Achieving optimal sound comfort in all rooms also contributes to well-being and is made possible by the deployment of a global acoustic strategy.
For all of those involved in its creation, a great sense of pride emanates from the FLEX’s creation at PVM. This new alternative workspace demonstrates that spaces that successfully evolve to support the ever-changing needs of workers actively contribute to enriching people’s lives. With the addition of the FLEX, Ivanhoé Cambridge offers its community an experience that enhances daily life by focusing on well-being, flexibility, connectivity, and beauty.