By : blanchette archi.design
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Interior Design
Categories : Office / Office > 54,000 sq.ft. (> 5,000 sq. m.) : Gold Certification
Categories : Special Awards / Renovation (Before & After) : Silver Certification
The desire to bring together all of its teams under one roof, previously located at several addresses, was the starting point for our collaboration with Aubainerie, a pioneer in the Quebec fashion industry. Our mandate: to accompany the client throughout the various stages of moving its head office, now operating under the name of Humanfashionation, into a 70,000 sq.ft. facility, which now houses the design workshops, photography studios, administrative offices and senior management. At the beginning of the planning process, the objectives were specified: to create a multi-purpose, uncluttered work environment focused on people and the company’s creations, rather than on space, in order to rekindle a sense of belonging, to showcase the collections, and to promote cohesion between the various teams.
With this in mind, the layout of the interior spaces was designed to allow for very intuitive and fluid circulation between the different work teams, while highlighting the building’s exterior architecture, with work in plan that dialogues with the flexible perimeter of the envelope dating from the 1980s. The sobriety of the materials prevails and is complemented by furniture in different shades of green and the addition of vegetation in the relaxation areas. Certain common areas are immersed in very dark environments, by choice, which allows for a staging of the space that we walk through daily. This intention also highlights a lighting design that is sometimes theatrical, sometimes graphic.
Particular attention was paid to the lighting, the main actor of the project, which is modulated in different ways to accompany the user in his tasks. When access to natural light is lacking in the main work area, a structure punctuated with light points is deployed like a catwalk, overhanging the main artery of the space and highlighting the human, rather than the product. In the work areas, simple fluorescent tubulars are boldly positioned, creating a graphic and dynamic pattern. In the demonstration areas, track lighting provides the same type of illumination as in the store, recreating the marketing of products. Lighted niches, polycarbonate walls and podiums dot the transitional spaces, providing a showcase for the latest collections. With an eye toward sustainable design, the design team spotted old security fencing during their first visit to the space. Witnesses of the building’s industrial past, they were therefore preserved, cleaned and integrated into the design of the structure in the two dining rooms. Then thought as frames of hanging in these spaces, they allow everyone to appropriate the place, over the seasons.