Torys' office redesign conveys the firm's ideology, process and identity, says Canadian Architect

Core Identity

June 01, 2009

There has been an increasing level of sophistication in recent years in the creation of a public image that positively reflects a business's values and interests.

Integral to the corporate identity and branding exercise is the physical design of a company's office space, and the message it delivers to its employees, clients and the wider population.

Torys and others have undertaken major redesigns of their office spaces to accommodate current functions, and to communicate and clarify their identity. Torys' Toronto office occupies 10 floors of the 36-storey TD Waterhouse Tower (built in 1985), which sits across from architect Mies van der Rohe's original TD Bank Tower on Wellington Street. With an impending lease expiration, Torys had considered either moving entirely or conducting a substantial renovation to better meet the firm's spatial requirements, and to refresh its identity and reputation for contemporary leadership and innovative spirit.

After an extensive study, Torys selected the architectural firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) to overhaul the 32nd and 33rd floors, each 30,000 square feet. The redesign, featured in Canadian Architect, is in keeping with KPMB's characteristically understated good taste, the generally staid conservatism of a law firm and the gorgeously ascetic restraint of Mies' original vision. It consists of

  • a neutral colour and material palette of dark walnut floors and millwork
  • fumed oak
  • marble slab
  • bronze accents
  • glass and matte white walls as the backdrop for an impressive art collection of more than 400 pieces of cutting-edge contemporary Canadian art
  • magnificent views of Lake Ontario and Toronto
  • abundant natural daylight


Read the full article here.

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