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Press Kit
| no: 865-35
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Press kit - Press release - Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay
A v2com exclusive

Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces

Montréal, Canada

Lemay

Lemay wins appreciation for three cutting-edge designs


Montréal, Canada, 2019-05-06 -

Award-winning integrated design firm Lemay is celebrating the recognition of three recent projects designed to promote collaborative work and creative thinking. In the face of some backlash against open-plan workspaces, the success of Lemay’s projects demonstrates not only the value of this approach but the importance of how it is applied.


In January, Lemay’s new offices for accounting firm BDO won honours at the Grands Prix du Design, highlighting the firm’s highly innovative approach to the design of work environments for traditionally conservative professional contexts. In March, another groundbreaking concept by Lemay earned investment-development hub Espace CDPQ a nod at the International Design Awards, in the « Interior Design / Office » category: a third award for a project whose casual, edgy vibe is quintessentially Montreal. And finally, Lemay was a finalist for an excellence award from Quebec’s Order of Architects, for transforming the Bishop’s University library into a 21st-Century Learning Commons where students can satisfy their curiosity and express their creativity in a modern space dedicated to collaboration.


Analyzing user needs and workplace dynamics

Collaborative work environments, also known as shared or open-concept spaces, aim to optimize productivity and improve user well-being, foster knowledge transfer and enable the free exchange of ideas. And while some media have reported that introducing these spaces has the opposite effect – decreased face-to-face interaction and corresponding increases in digital usage – this is most often due to a premature introduction of these spaces, without a comprehensive workplace strategy.

 

"To make sure a collaborative environment meets its objectives, we perform an in-depth analysis of the existing workspace", says Sandra Neill, an associate and workplace strategist with Lemay. "We then work closely with the users to fully understand how their work is organized. Then, because we involve users in the planning process, we’re able to identify and respond to a much wider range of requirements."

Companies that take the time to do this preparatory work find that introducing collaboration spaces increases not only productivity but profitability and retention rates. An office design with a variety of interconnected work and social spaces also directly benefits employee engagement and well-being: equally good for the bottom line.


User comfort and well-being

In designing BDO’s national office in Toronto, Lemay considered the client’s corporate identity and values as well as its diverse and multigenerational workforce, putting a strong focus on user well-being and incorporating principles of sustainable construction to create a workspace that maximizes functionality and efficiency.

The result stands out with its biophilic approach that integrates natural elements into the built environment to establish an employee connection with the space. Natural ventilation and large vegetated areas purify the air and, combined with abundant sunlight, reduce stress while increasing creativity. The Toronto-based concept will be deployed in BDO’s regional offices across Canada.

 

The concept also allows for the fact that collaborative work is a spontaneous practice that extends throughout the day, and location can be as variable as timing. Understanding this, and how it affects user needs and expectations, is crucial to avoiding the many issues that can arise when consultation is not part of the process.


Designing space to encourage interaction

Espace CDPQ, at the nexus of business in Montreal’s Place Ville Marie, shows a multitude of approaches to collaborative work, with its auditorium, globalization lab and a wide variety of meeting rooms, and integrated high-tech and low-tech tools to meet as many work styles as possible.


"Above all, it’s an organic space that naturally draws users to express their creativity says Jean-Francois Gagnon, associate and design director at Lemay." 

"We’ve pushed the envelope by imagining so many different ways to enable that."


Spread over two floors, the award-winning hub for SMEs to develop their business and network is unified by a large atrium and spiral staircase that facilitate interaction between advisors and entrepreneurs. Abundant glazing promotes the penetration of natural light and offers panoramic views of the cityscape.


Adapting to evolving needs

Bishop’s University’s new Learning Commons is also dedicated to community and collaboration, built on feedback from students, professors, librarians, administrators and university alumni to radically transform what had been a low-ceilinged, closed-in space too small for its growing collection and user base.


At the heart of the project is a new atrium, bright and welcoming with magnificent forest views, connecting the building’s two main floors. It promotes knowledge transfer as it hosts activities ranging from impromptu student meetings to conferences. Welcoming individual and collaborative workspaces encourage solo or group work according to need.

"The user is invited to own the spaces according to the desired level of privacy, external contact and ambience," says Eric Pelletier, Lemay partner and design principal. ‘They’re no longer a simple user, they’re an actor in their own environment.

"With flexibility, there is empowerment; and when an environment is also stimulating, the user feels good about it."


Datasheet 

BDO Canada

Lemay Project Team

Associate, Interior Designer, Workplace Strategist: Sandra Neill

Project Manager: Julia Easto

Interior Designers: Julien Delannoy, Anthony Barbusci, Éliane Lessard

Architects: Malcolm Lobban, Keith David Benjamin

Graphic Designers: Marie-Elaine Globensky, Kevin Wang

BDO Project Team

Chief Executive Officer: Pat Kramer

Chief Operating Officer: Dave Simkins

Senior Manager, Strategic Execution Office: Elizabeth Tardif

Project Coordinator, Strategic Execution Office: Jacqueline Casey

Facilities Manager: Nathalie Tonner


Espace CDPQ

President and Excellence Facilitator: Louis T. Lemay

Associate, Design Director: Jean-François Gagnon

Associate, Interior Designer, Workplace Strategist: Sandra Neill

Project Manager, Architecture: Nathalie Tornatora

Architectural Designers: Anthony Bouchard, Alexis Légaré

Interior Designers: François Descoteaux, Audrey Ferron

Graphic Designers: Marie-Elaine Globensky, Isabelle Hébert, Kevin Wang


Learning Commons at Bishop’s University

Partner and Design Principal: Eric Pelletier

Project Manager: Annie Martineau

Architect: Sarah Perron-Desrochers

Architectural Designer: Jasmine Maheu Moisan

Interior Designer: Hélène Couturier

Technical Designers: Paul Déry, Léonor Oshiro, Mariana Raboy, Ameth Ruiz

 

About Lemay

Founded in 1957 as an architectural practice, Lemay is an internationally recognized integrated design firm. Its unique blend of creativity, large-firm capacity and wide-ranging expertise brings client aspirations to life, creating sustainable value for users and communities around the world. The firm’s commitment to outstanding design also translates into lemayLAB: an instrument of research and innovation in all aspects of design, which has helped it win over 350 awards and distinctions. Lemay brings together some 450 professionals, earning it a world ranking of 52nd largest (2019 World Architecture 100). It has been a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program since 2013, and a Gold Standard winner since 2017.

- 30 -


Media contact
  • Lemay
  • Annie Gagnier, Director, Communications and Outreach
  • agagnier@lemay.com
  • 514 932-5101
Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - BDO | National office - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
BDO | National office
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - BDO | National office - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
BDO | National office
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - BDO | National office - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
BDO | National office
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Espace CDPQ - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
Espace CDPQ
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Espace CDPQ - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
Espace CDPQ
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Espace CDPQ - Photo credit: Claude-Simon Langlois
Espace CDPQ
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Bishop’s University Learning Commons - Photo credit: Stephane Groleau
Bishop’s University Learning Commons
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Bishop’s University Learning Commons - Photo credit: Stephane Groleau
Bishop’s University Learning Commons
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Press kit | 865-35 - Press release | Stimulate Idea Generation and Business Growth Through Well-Designed Collaborative Spaces - Lemay - Commercial Interior Design - Bishop’s University Learning Commons - Photo credit: Stephane Groleau
Bishop’s University Learning Commons
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