Slack Toronto Office

In 2016, Slack became the world’s fastest growing tech company in history, and 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 designed to meet 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 are embodied in linear, material geometries. Networking cables in bold colours, both functional and decorative, 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. 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 colourful logo as an expression of the invigorated interior’s new identity.

A welcoming, open concept workspace to accommodate upwards of 140 employees with ample break-out spaces in varying sizes and enclosure were the primary goals of the design brief. In an era when the modern office is more open than ever, quiet and collaborative spaces are critical; the café, breakout rooms, phone booths and various lounges serve this purpose. The central core houses a variety of communal and service spaces - the openings to those spaces are ‘carved’ out of the seemingly solid volume and the thresholds are accented with contrasting pops of colour. Vast peg boards on each floor, created by local artisan Atelier Kozak, act as feature walls where workplace slogans or witty remarks can be fashioned by all. The layout builds upon Slack’s well-established tenet of providing engaging spaces for work while the material nature of the design pays tribute to Slack’s company values of craftsmanship and heritage.

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