with a clever use of space and clean finishes and furnishings north rocks new customer service centre is both inviting and unique.
By Terceira Quarterly Associates
“A breath of fresh air” was how judges described the “funky and energetic” design of the new North Rock Communications office on the corner of Church Street and Washington Lane. “It was good to see a local designer driving a high-performance finish,” said one judge. “Everything about it was good—a great little job.”
They considered the final product appropriate for its intended use. “Just what you’d expect for a tech company,” said one judge. “It was a clever use of space enhanced by the glass on two sides,” said another. “We enjoyed walking into the space—it was exciting and fun with good energy.” A third said, “It was very three-dimensional and we liked the geometric blend of furnishings and wall textures.” They also admired the link between the wall grid and modern stylish client chairs with a grid design, a minor detail but appreciated.
According to designer Nancy DeSouza of TQ, North Rock wanted to showcase a more modern industrial look with very clean finishes and furnishings. “They were looking for a fresh, new look,” she says, “and they also needed to incorporate an area designated for future growth into the retail phone and computer market.”
A clean colour palette of whites and grays was used in the interiors to allow for the exterior glazing signage to tell the story. North Rock’s signature purple was used sparingly within the space to give punches of colour throughout. An exposed ceiling with industrial lighting was introduced to give it an open feeling, and hanging curved-metal ceiling panels were incorporated to help with acoustics.
The small space has many custom details including complex custom millwork designed by TQ; other examples are the curved welcome desks, the round display areas, the white concrete countertops, the 3form panels and the woven wall.
The back work area was left open with only a light 3form panel to separate the retail area from the technical staff. The judges were less impressed with this view of the “back office” from the “front office,” but they agreed that most front-office clients would not be aware of the designation.
The project was completed in an impressively short time. “The client required an eight-week construction phase,” relates DeSouza. “We did have to deal with upgrading the space to work with fire and planning regulations, which added an extra two weeks to the project, but this allowed us some time for items that were procured overseas.”
She says that many items were purchased and produced on the island. The tile was in stock from Eminence, and the concrete countertops and display tops were produced, supplied and installed by Concrete Works.
“I am very happy with the work and coordination from Greymane Contracting,” she says. “We had a few overseas items that were causing us some issues, but they came through in the end. Sometimes as a designer you worry that when work is rushed or done too fast it can be sloppy or not up to the standard you would expect. The finishing was really well done with the short time frame allowed.”
Vicki Coelho, general manager of North Rock Communications, explains that their goal was to provide a customer-friendly, inviting and unique customer service centre.
“Nancy DeSouza of TQ clearly understood our vision, and she quickly provided various options for us to review. We had worked together on our new offices at Powerhouse the previous year. Nancy’s ability to design a high-tech, innovative, clean environment was exactly what we were looking for. We are thrilled with the finished look, and customers have provided us with tremendous positive feedback.”
General Contractor Greymane Contracting; Mechanical & Electrical Contractor Keen; HVAC Keen; Flooring Greymane Contracting and COE; Millwork Convoy Custom; Furniture Diversified Services, AF Smith and Windward Supply; Cabling Switchworx; Workstations Complete Office; Wall Coverings/Painting Greymane Contracting; Lighting Supply Keen; Drywall Greymane Contracting.