What do Shaolin racoons, Apaches, magic, Jedis, and Herman Miller SAYL Chair have to do with TP1, the digital agency recently named "Montreal's Coolest Office Space"? Read on to find out and to take a look inside the award-winning walls of this creative company specializing in online, print, and media campaigns for private and institutional organizations, as well as artistic associations like the Montreal FRINGE Festival.
Tell us about TP1: what you're passionate about, what inspires you, and where you're going. We love great design, new ideas, and cowboys. We like vintage posters, architecture, retro video games, playing Rock Band, Lego, karaoke, drinking beer, and jamming with the TP1 band (we're music lovers, as you probably guessed). We also really like fearless clients.
Last year, we organized the agency into teams. Instead of being grouped by specialty (strategy, user experience, design, project management, and technology), TP1 is now organized into five small, multi-disciplinary teams comprising a variety of talents to deliver great products. The teams even have names: Shaolin Racoons, Apaches, Right Clique, Magic, and The Jedis. This structure greatly influenced the way we designed the space.
First, we selected the building. We wanted an older, but well-maintained location with a lot of natural light. We found everything we wanted in the Castle Building, located in the heart of downtown Montreal. The owner is great to work with, and we even got a rooftop patio.
Despite the very tight turnaround time, the design team at Moureau Hauspy (MHAD) proved up to the challenge. The proposed design concept was resolutely transparent, with well-lit open spaces. Apart from a few closed, but glassed-in offices, the rest of the workspace is entirely open, with five distinct areas for each of our five teams.
The walls are mainly white, although a few are black slate for functional reasons (to display various projects and activities, and for brainstorming). The concrete floor has been left untouched, other than a simple tarnish. This gives the space an urban, industrial look, which is complemented by touches of wood for a warmer atmosphere.
Special attention was given to lighting, both natural and artificial. Workstation lighting is avant-garde and flexible. We installed a system of pulleys, coloured cables, and sockets above each workstation, enabling each employee to adjust their own desired level of lighting.
We wanted to create an open, uncluttered, minimalist, functional workspace capable of expressing our collective identity and supporting the team's vast creative potential.
What we like the most about it? The rooftop terrasse, windows that actually open, the natural light, the "pixelier," the fact that it can be turned into a great party space (awesome speakers and central sound system) and our amazing Simonelli Appia espresso machine.
There's not much to dislike. After using the space for a few months, there were a few adjustments that needed to be made, such as the acoustics in one of the conference rooms and a lack of storage space for coats and boots during our Canadian winter.
You have SAYL Chairs in your space. Why did you choose them? The SAYL Chairs are probably the first thing we selected for the new office. There was a demo at MHAD, given to them by Herman Miller's Montreal branch, and we found the chair to be extremely comfortable and surprisingly well priced. We were also impressed by the fact that the SAYL won a Core77 design award. The Google Montreal office might have even copied us -- we spotted a few SAYLs in their new space!
We like that they're very comfortable and firm, perfect as a work chair, and offer good value, an amazing warranty, and original design. We've recommended it to others, and even loaned a few to one of our clients while they waited for delivery of their own.
(Images: Cindy Boyce)
Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Amy Feezor.