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Thursday 19 Apr 2012
Thinking differently is the ethos of Edelman, the leading independent global PR firm. Their new 20,000 sq. ft. Canadian flagship office in Toronto reflects this and the media are starting to take notice around the world.
Last September, Canadian Interiors featured the Edelman project on their front cover. In the same month, the IIDEX/NeoCon show offered a tour of the space, which got great reviews. In February 2012, Hinge design magazine in Hong Kong and Modern Decoration design magazine in Shenzhen, China each featured the project. In June, Edelman will be highlighted in the Chinese book "Space 2: Workplace."
In 2011, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) honored the design transformation of Edelman PR's private office culture to a dynamic open plan with a first place finish in their annual competition. The project received the highest overall score of 97 out of 100 from the judges.
Inger Bartlett, president of Bartlett & Associates, also discussed the Edelman project in a video that was used for Doors Open, an annual Toronto-wide event offering free public access to more than 150 architecturally or historically significant buildings.
The Edelman design solution took various forms. Photos of ice huts (quintessentially Canadian!) and colorful super-scale Toronto landscape photos contributed individuation to the project, while a boutique hotel-style Lobby, a global Cafe and funky outdoor Patio reclaimed from a rooftop contributed uniqueness. An open space plan organized around "work neighborhoods" with a mix of nearby breakout rooms & open/closed meeting areas, and a multi-function Café area that can be used for "Edelman University" seminars, produced the collaboration the agency was looking for.
Throughout the space, a rectilinear design creates interplay with transparent glass boxes, allowing visitors and staff to see through them to colorful murals that visually connect to corridors to make the boxes - and the whole space - seem larger.
"The new Edelman office has been transformative for our culture," says Kimmel. "While there was fear among employees with moving to an open concept format, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It is reflective of the culture we want to create - one that is committed to collaboration and transparency. The space is truly a physical representation of this vision."
Visitors first encounter the space in an inviting Reception/Lobby that reflects Edelman's brand yet still manages to achieve an intimate boutique hotel feel with a cozy fireplace, a purple area rug and cool Hans Wegner chairs for lounging. A 16-ft. custom sofa anchors the space. The backdrop is a series of bookshelves filled with icons from the communications world such as old movie cameras, a typewriter, a 1960's telephone, and books on groundbreaking artists, theorists and designers such as Andy Warhol, Marshall McLuhan and Tom Ford.
The Patio features bright green Camouflage700 leaf material, a new textile from Finland, used as a garden backdrop in a fun and playful outdoor space. Primary colors on the furniture and Australian upholstery fabric add character to the space.