SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE

by ARCSTREET.COM December 4 2017, 20:36 ARCHITECTURE - STORES & RETAIL ARCHITECTURE - OFFICES ARCHITECTURE

SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE

The architectural firm Atelier Barda was mandated in September 2016 to expand the headquarters of SSENSE, a fashion platform known for its exclusive original content and a curated selection of over 400 fashion and luxury designers for men and women. Located in a neighbourhood that was once home to Montreal’s textile industry, the space has a surface area of 24,000 square feet, and was formerly used for logistics and warehouses. The project involved the complete redesign of the existing space to meet the company’s growing needs while staying true to its strong brand image. The main objective was to design a functional space that would speak to its original purpose and conserve its industrial look and feel by paring down rather than adding on. The vast space was entirely stripped and remodeled with a strict minimalist design, giving it a neutral yet unique aesthetic. Far from ostentatious, the architecture has a deliberate no-name quality that perfectly matches the company’s values and ever-changing needs. The raw nature of the finishes creates an architectural signature in which absence paradoxically becomes a language in itself.
 
Careful attention was paid while studying the working relations between the different departments within the company. As a formal request of the client, the project asked for a large open workspace, where executives sit amongst their team. Dismantling office hierarchy, the space would nourish the collaborative culture of SSENSE. It was therefore essential to minimize distance between the different teams in order to centralize formal and informal meeting spaces, in addition to creating strategic hubs. In this context, closed offices and more private alcoves were positioned on the periphery of the shared work area to allow for free movement and exchanges among collaborators. Significant consideration was given to encourage communication amongst employees, stimulating creativity and autonomy while maximizing productivity. Workspaces for employees include bundles of long desks, breakout alcoves, communal standing desks and quiet rooms for silent work.
 
The lobby has a dramatic, sequenced, almost cinematic approach, leading from a dark vestibule toward the predominantly white open-plan space. Facing the main entrance, the luxurious lounge space acts as an oasis within the main circulation area, breaking with the neutral aesthetic. The idea was to create a more intimate space to encourage social interactions and informal meetings. In addition, the flexibility and fluidity of the space allow for the organization of corporate events for networking and celebration. The lighting grid of the former warehouses was conserved and reconfigured into a graphic linear grid. In addition to remodeling the space, Atelier Barda also designed a complete collection of custom furniture through its Foraine division. The wickerwork chairs in the lounge area, the solid organic-shaped low tables covered with tiled Italian terrazzo, the sleek stainless steel coffee counters and stools, the bookcase, and the conference tables are all original Foraine pieces developed in close collaboration with local artisans.
 
The collection of innovative furniture was carefully designed to be both bold and functional while respecting the context of implementation. The numerous pieces are strategically positioned to carry forward linearity from the entrance arch. Their materials, textures and colours contrast with the stark neutrality of the surrounding space and embody the elegance of the brand. > atelierbarda.com 

 

Data sheet
Location: Montreal, Canada
Completion date: June 2017
Surface area: 24,000 sq. ft.
Photo credit: Adrien Williams
 
Furniture
C02 loveseat: Black metal and natural, black-stained wickerwork
E02 bookcase: White metal
F01 chair: Black metal and natural, black-stained wickerwork
I01 coffee island: Brushed stainless steel
S02 bar stool: Brushed stainless steel
S03 counter stool: Black metal
T05 low table: Black metal and green Italian terrazzo tiles
T06 conference table: White metal

 

 

FR / La firme d’architecture Atelier Barda a été mandatée en septembre 2016 pour concevoir l’agrandissement du siège social SSENSE, une plateforme de l'industrie de la mode connue pour son contenu original exclusif et sa sélection soignée de plus de 400 créateurs de mode de luxe pour hommes et femmes. Implantés dans l’ancien quartier des textiles de Montréal, les espaces totalisant 24 000 pieds carrés, et auparavant dédiés à la logistique et aux entrepôts ont été entièrement réinvestis pour accommoder les besoins grandissant de l’organisation tout en incarnant sa forte image de marque. L’objectif principal était de concevoir un espace fonctionnel faisant écho à son usage original, et la mise en valeur de l’aspect fondamentalement industriel par le dépouillement plutôt que par l’ornement.
 
Le vaste espace a d’abord été entièrement dégarni pour ensuite être rhabillé au strict minimum, conférant ainsi au lieu son caractère à la fois neutre et singulier. L’architecture, loin d’être ostentatoire, renforce par son esthétique purement minimaliste la marge d’indétermination volontaire, propice à l’expression des valeurs de l’entreprise et à la mouvance constante de ses besoins. L’aspect ébauché des finis crée l’essentiel de l’écriture où, paradoxalement, l’absence devient un langage.
Les bureaux fermés et les alcôves privatives ont été aménagés en périphérie de l’espace de travail commun afin de ne pas contraindre les circulations et de privilégier les échanges entre les collaborateurs. Une importance majeure a été accordée au respect des relations de travail entre les différents départements afin de maximiser la productivité. 
 
Le hall d’entrée propose une approche séquencée dramatique quasi cinématographique menant d’un sas obscur, noir profond vers les espaces communs où le blanc lumineux domine et impose sa présence. Au centre de l’aire continue, à la croisée des circulations principales, l'espace lounge rompt cette neutralité. L’idée était de générer un lieu plus intimiste propice au développement de la vie sociale interne et aux rencontres informelles.
La trame de l’éclairage des anciens entrepôts a été conservée et reconfigurée en une grille linéaire graphique.
 
En plus du mandat de réaménagement global, Atelier Barda, à travers son studio de développement de mobilier Foraine, a dessiné une collection complète de pièces uniques adaptées au contexte du projet. Les assises cannées du lounge; les imposantes tables basses aux formes organiques recouvertes de tuiles de terrazzo italien; les tabourets et ilots café en acier inoxydables filaires, la bibliothèque ainsi que les tables de conférences sont ainsi signées par Foraine. Toutes ces pièces ont judicieusement été conçues dans un souci d’audace et de fonctionnalité. Stratégiquement mises en scène dans la continuité de l’arche de l’entrée, elles contrastent de par leur matérialités, textures et couleurs avec la neutralité ambiante tout en incarnant le raffinement de la marque.   +  atelierbarda.com 
     

SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
SSENSE HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL CANADA BY ATELIER BARDA ARCHITECTURE
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