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VersaPay is a financial technology company with its headquarters in Toronto. Founded in 2006, the company provides a software-as-a-service solution that automates elements of the Accounts Receivables process. The company was moving to a new space, the penthouse at 18 King Street East office building. The most exciting benefit of the newly acquired space was its amazing view out of the full 360 windows.
We were solely in charge of the design portion of this project and our objective was to design a space that made a statement, reflected VersaPay’s culture and became a workplace where staff were proud to work. This new VersaPay workspace was supposed to meet their current needs and have the potential for their future growth. The space needed to be clean and concise, reflecting VersaPay brand and products.
We aimed to combine architectural elements, lighting, branding, furniture solutions and finish selection into one cohesive concept, with no fortuity and great attention to detail.
The expectation was to create a functional, flexible workspace with a combination of open areas and enclosed rooms to suit various needs.
It was critical for us to create a layout that utilized and did not block the spectacular views of downtown out the office windows. Another request was to design a lunchroom space that could be transitioned into a Town Hall (sitting minimum 60 people) if needed. In addition, due to the nature of the business, the space had to be equipped with numerous digital screens, visible from different angles and locations throughout the space.
The main challenge we had to face was the expedited project process and timeline.
As a result, the project completion had to consist of two phases, two months apart. The company moved into the finished half of the space and we worked closely with the client to ensure the smooth transition and minimally disruptive working conditions while the second phase was still in the works.
The inspiration for the concept originated from our admiration of the company’s logo. Its modern, angular font with the dominant V also influenced the ‘angular’ space plan, including angular walls and geometrical millwork.
It is also reflected in the various material patterns, furniture shape, and the colour scheme.
The splashes of ‘Versapay yellow’ throughout the space enhance the branding and soften the rawness of the concrete floors and exposed ceiling.
When we first met with VersaPay, it became immediately clear that they desired an office space that not only reflected the type of the business but that also impressed visitors.
Once they reach the top 18th floor, visitors feel welcomed entering a branded lift lobby and walk through large glass doors leading to the grand reception area. The area serves as both a reception and a hang out space for the employees. This is also the area where we deliberately chose to locate the company’s boardroom. The boardroom glass partitions allow the person entering the reception area, to look straight out the boardroom windows with spectacular downtown views.
By creating a combination of open office along with many different breakout or collaboration areas, quiet areas and enclosed meeting rooms, we provided the space that has an area for everyone’s needs throughout the day.
In addition to more common office spaces, the staff has access to ‘phone booth’ mini rooms, huddle style furniture for semi-private collaboration or a prayer and meditation room, all requested by the client.
The heart of the new space is the spacious lunchroom with well equipped, streamlined, blond wood kitchenette. A large island, variety of seating, convenient bottle filling station and coffee station provide an opportunity for the employees to grab a beverage, engage and unwind while the integrated storage allows for storing additional chairs for a Town Hall layout.
Acoustic solutions played a very important role during the design process. The high, exposed ceilings but also specifics of the business and the aspect of the financial confidentiality forced extra consideration for the integration of acoustic components like: tac panels, felt work zone dividers, grid ceiling canopies or felt circular meeting pods.
There is no happier moment for us than when we can hand over the space to excited staff.
With no doubt, VersaPay space exemplifies their brand and values. But what is more important, it allows its employees to work from a truly inspiring and enjoyable work environment.