Interfor Metrotown is a signature new office interior for one of North America’s largest forest products companies. The designer’s ambition was to translate the company’s “modern forestry” approach into a physical space that would embody the brand. The team envisioned a space that would both showcase an extensive wood product offering to potential clients and provide a warm, collaborative work environment for employees.
Goals for the project included creating greater connection between departments and increasing employee interaction, a challenging task due to the corrugated corners of the floor plate and departments separated across two floors. The design solution showcases and integrates wood products through the design concept and material palette.
A floating staircase serves as a striking central feature in the reception area, creating a bold statement for visitors to the office. It also provides the connection for employees between levels. Constructed of Douglas-fir posts and cantilevered LVL (laminated veneer lumber) treads and risers, the staircase showcases an innovative way to work with wood to achieve a highly refined design.
Beyond simply showcasing wood products, the design solution connects with the client’s brand and celebrates the potential of wood throughout the space. The concept in plan begins with a log, the heart of Interfor’s business, which is brought into the heart of the office. It takes the form of sweeping floor-to-ceiling screens of profiled Douglas-fir slats. These screens tie the office layout together and create continuous circulation paths on both levels that emphasize continuity between departments.
The elliptical core of offices and meeting rooms provide visual connections between managers and their teams in adjacent open office spaces, facilitating workflow and encouraging collaboration. Custom acoustical Douglas-fir slat ceilings mitigate reverberation in the central offices and unify the spaces within. The oval offices also provide universal access to natural light and stunning views of the city, North Shore mountains, and the Pacific Ocean.
Wood feature walls are found in eight of the largest meeting rooms, each highlighting a different species of wood product. These slatted walls provide acoustic absorption with insulation behind. The Hemlock conference room features a large custom LVL table that breaks apart, transforming the space into a training room. The Western Red Cedar room serves as a video conference room, Lodgepole Pine and Grand Fir as interview rooms and the Douglas-fir, Spruce, Ponderosa Pine and Southern Yellow Pine as general meeting rooms. Each of these spaces is furnished with custom designed LVL tables. Throughout the office, the wood was treated with a polyurethane clear coat to provide durability and let the natural beauty of the wood shine through.
Custom LVL workstations were designed to address employee needs and feature Douglas-fir and Euro Birch Ply storage dividers, felt and Birch Ply acoustic pin boards and Douglas-fir pedestal covers. All private offices are furnished with custom LVL desks. Douglas-fir wood slats feature prominently in the reception desk and breakroom island as well as the Level 16 elevator lobby which creates a welcoming environment enhanced by the warm glow of wood.