Azure Publishing Office
The new offices for Azure Publishing, a leading global design publication based in Toronto, are housed in a former transformer factory in the city’s historically industrial Junction Triangle neighbourhood. The converted factory, dating back to the early 20th century, boasts large floor plates, high ceilings and generously scaled windows, ideal for the multitude of creative enterprises that it now houses.
Within this emerging creative precinct, Azure has situated itself in 5,600 square feet of space spread out over two levels. The entry is demarcated by its distinctive logo, rendered in a bold orange supergraphic, visible through the reception glass on axis at the end of a long corridor leading to their space. In keeping with the Canadian designers routinely featured in the publication, the suspended whimsical light fixtures are from Molo and the reception desk sinuously organic wood top is crafted by the Brothers Dressler.
To the right of reception is an open-concept area, bathed in natural daylight from both south and east-facing windows, that accommodates 26 workstations, a private office and meeting room serving a team of editors, publishers, writers and advertising sales. To the left of the reception area, is a soaring double-height space; sixteen-foot-tall, black steel-framed windows allow consistent and even north light to illuminate the area while simultaneously providing sweeping views of the exterior. Flexible in nature, the space is well suited for social events and recreational activities. The adjoining lunchroom and staff kitchen can be discreetly closed off by a sliding, translucent acrylic screen, a design feature employed throughout the office to maintain privacy without sacrificing light transmission.
Throughout, the factory’s original, industrial character has been preserved and accentuated, instilling an authenticity to the space while revealing traces of its past. The new office’s material palette is a strategic interplay between white and bright pops of colour introduced through graphics, seating and signage, contrasting the neutral palette of the historic red brick walls, aged wood plank ceilings, newly installed maple floors, and darkened steel columns and beams. In this creative adaptation of a refurbished factory space, the design strategy employs an economical while bold material palette, complimenting the building’s historic character and industrial roots.