Slack Toronto Office

In 2016, Slack became the world’s fastest growing tech company in history. After just a handful of years, the startup known for its office messaging app had already amassed offices around the globe. Slack sought to create an imaginative space for their Toronto office that reflected their company culture and its relationship with craft and technology. Set in a former knitting and textile factory in the heart of downtown Toronto, three storeys within the interior of this mid-rise brick and beam building were redesigned to meet all the needs of a twenty-first century tech company, inspired both by the building’s heritage and the company’s work culture. To reinforce the Slack brand, physical “threads of communication” enliven the space. As an allusion to both the communication inherent in the messaging application itself and a homage to the lines of yarn that were utilized in the mechanized knitting process, these threads manifest themselves in linear, material geometries. Networking cables in bold colours are both functional and decorative, and run across ceilings and walls to emphasize the length of each floor. In the reception area, strips of industrial felt clad the wall and ceiling in continuous diagonal lines, created by local artist Kathryn Walter of Felt Studio. Even light fixtures are angular and appear to thread through workspaces and meeting rooms at distinct angles. In all cases, accent colours for design elements and furniture are derived from Slack’s logo as a continuous reminder of the invigorated interior’s new identity. To accommodate over 140 employees, a combination of open concept workspaces and a multitude of meeting rooms, phone booths and break-out spaces were functional requirements of the design brief. A central core was created to host a variety of communal spaces - the openings to those spaces are ‘carved’ out of the seemingly solid core and accented with their own contrasting pop of colour. Vast peg boards on each floor, created by local artisan Atelier Kozak, act as feature walls where workplace slogans, witty remarks, or the even company logo can be refashioned by all. The layout builds upon Slack’s well-established tenet of providing engaging spaces for work and play while the material nature of the design pays tribute to Slack’s company values of craftsmanship and heritage.

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