Communica on the move – part 1
By Sarah Bartlett
“We have an interesting design for you guys,” says MAKE Design Lab’s Design Associate Osiris Tablero.
Osiris is a design associate with MAKE Design Lab, a Calgary-based design firm that has been busy helping Communica develop its new, modern office space.
By mid-July 2018, Communica will be packing up and moving to the 14th floor of The Edison, located at 150 Ninth Ave. S.W. The Edison building recently underwent a major renovation that modernized and enhanced the design of the building.
Moving into the downtown core is an exciting opportunity for Communica. Since 2011, the company has called Victoria Park home, but in August Communica’s current office, located in the Legacy Building on 12th Avenue, will be cleared, making way for a new property development.
Organizing the move has been a group effort. Communica assembled a moving team to help with the planning and logistics of the move, which has included everything from setting up new phone systems, to selecting plants for the new office.
Finding the perfect office has also been an intensive process. After scouting out numerous office spaces and weighing the pros and cons of each, The Edison stood out as the best option for Communica.
“We looked at seventeen different office spaces. What we liked about The Edison was its proximity to our clients,” says Communica’s COO Myles Nelson. “In terms of amenities it’s really good. They’ve got lots of opportunities for people to collaborate and spaces for people to do that in.”
The building, owned by Aspen Properties, offers unique tenant amenities such as a basketball court, golf-simulator, dog-friendly patio space and bike share program. The Edison also has a cozy sitting area with a fireplace in the downstairs lobby of the building.
“We just want to give our staff more flexibility,” says Communica’s Network Operations Manager Victor Yan. “For example, the new Edison building has some open areas downstairs where people can actually hang-out and work there.”
Once the location was chosen, the team at Communica began working with the floor plan sorting out a myriad of issues from desk configurations to onsite storage. The new office provides Communica an exciting opportunity to start from scratch and tailor the space to match the company’s needs and work culture.
“The space overall is very nice. It also allowed us to build our space to our design because it’s just a blank canvas right now, whereas most of the spaces we went and looked at were pre-existing in terms of layout, so we were a little limited in terms of what we could do,” says Myles. “So, it just gives us a bit more freedom to set up the office the way we want.”
The new office space was designed with the intention of maximizing the potential for creativity and collaboration. Examples of these considerations can be found in the design of the bistro area – where staff can socialize over coffee and lunch – as well as the open-concept workspace, where Communica’s team of stakeholder engagement advisors and information management analysts work side by side.
“We focus not only on the design aesthetics of the space, but the user experience as well and how a person engages and uses a space,” MAKE Design Lab Associate Partner Luanne Cheung explains.
“So, from the get-go we want to make sure that the space works for the end user,” Luanne says. “If it doesn’t work for you, we feel that is a failure because we want a space that ties into what your company’s needs are, and how you function and how you do work inside.”
Communica’s Marketing Manager Jesse Yardley has also been working with MAKE Design Lab incorporating Communica’s brand identity into the space through a combination of material selections, decaling and colour treatments. This will be augmented by feature walls, artworks and signage throughout the space.
Much work is still to come. Construction is underway and the space is beginning to take shape.
“We want to create a space where people feel welcome,” says Osiris.
We couldn’t agree more!
Check out our next blog post: Communica on the Move – Part Two, to learn more about Communica’s final office space design.