The Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards was once an abandoned City of Ottawa Workshop building circa 1941. The interior designers formed part of the dynamic project team to re-adapt and expand the existing space into a multi-purpose tech-hub. The Innovation Center was designed as a “one-stop shop” to support and stimulate the development of entrepreneurs and start-up companies by providing technical, business and market services, resources and expertise.
As the building serves as a base camp for innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors and community members, the interior was designed to support various functions and needs. The interiors were planned with three key areas: The Incubator, the Accelerator, and the Administrative Offices. These areas had distinct functional requirements.
Incubator: A space designed to learn, collaborate and exchange new ideas. This space was designed to foster innovation, creativity and imagination. A movable wood spine delineates a central collaborative space, where the raw wood elements can be moved to help create distinct work areas within the incubator.
Accelerator: A space designed to help develop, validate and translate these ideas into products, services, and new technologies. This space was designed to help grow ideas for future success, by integrating technology, collaborative and meeting space.
Administrative office: An office space designed to house the administrative and support staff to the Innovation Centre and a secondary not-for-profit tenant.
These spaces are located within the East and West wings of the building and are connected by a central concourse featuring a large training/event space and café opening onto a landscaped courtyard and a community garden. The concourse and training/event space is open to the public and was designed as a multipurpose space with integrated projectors and audio-visual technology, tiered stair seating and hidden storage compartment for over 250 chairs.
Sustainable material selection and building practices aim to achieve LEED Gold certification. Existing elements of the building were retained such as the two-storey service bays that open into the incubator space, existing pivoting hoists and existing wood hangar doors. The original huge wooden doors have been refinished and reinserted as space defining screens. These elements reflect the original heritage of the building and celebrate the revitalization of the old and innovation of the future.