Saatchi & Saatchi sought a new energy and branding through design for its Toronto office – one of 86 globally. Objectives were the creation of a global ad brand with local character, encouraging teamwork and reinforcing Saatchi community. The project, inspired by The Saatchi Gallery of Contemporary Art in London, showcases how design icons can be interwoven into a powerful statement on a tight budget.
CHALLENGES, SOLUTIONS Unique branding appears in the loft-style space unexpectedly encountered in a standard office tower. Visitors enter a large Reception area defined by curving mesh space frames. A metal sculpture of a deer head grounds the Made in Canada character, emphasized by rough wooden slats. Dogwood branches soften the urban cityscape outside and provide textural contrast to the mesh screening.
The exhibition space is defined by scaffolding structures (associated with architectural creation) that are also the backbone of custom-designed workstations.
The layout encourages collaboration and teamwork, allows impromptu meetings, and imparts a hip energy.
The ample Reception area reinforces the power of Saatchi and provides room for staff meetings, client receptions and weekly informal socializing that reinforces community. The Boardroom provides seating for 20 for pitches and is a haven for creative group thinking.
SUCCESSFUL, INNOVATIVE DESIGN ELEMENTS Iconic references appear in the integrated exhibition and work space; Eames, Wegner and Saarinen pieces; references to Canadian wilderness; and signature Saatchi elements such as the Lovemark captured in a red Vitra chair. The white loft space provides a stage-like backdrop for layering.
Design elements provide unity between the interior and the furniture. The rough walnut slats (in keeping with the informal scaffolding) in Reception reappear as workstation veneers, in wall paneling and tables in the Breakout rooms, and in the Boardroom doors. Walnut is revisited as moulded plywood in the Eames and Wegner chairs.