WSP Canada Global Headquarters Redevelopment, Montreal, Quebec
Architecture49’s mandate was to design and build the offices of the new world headquarters of the WSP engineering company located at 1600 René-Lévesque in Montreal. The first phase is to completely renovate the 1,300 square meters of the 18th floor to accommodate the executive offices of the company and its sixty directors. The second phase is to reorganize the multiple divisions, employing over 600 employees currently spread over 10 floors, to consolidate them into the top seven floors of the building.
The office layout was part of a global strategy to revitalize the image of the company and it was important that the new space reflect the values and services of WSP. As a tribute to the engineering profession and a showcase of know-how, certain electromechanical and structural elements were left visible and highlighted. To promote a culture of change and creativity, the 66 workstations are fully open and employees have access to several meeting rooms with a variety of facilities, conference rooms and common areas for collaboration. The optimization of natural light, the use of sustainable development principles, technology and adapted office equipment are the result of a special focus on employee health and social responsibility.
The views of Montreal, impressive at this height, served as a guide to the ideation of the place. The abundant fenestration on all four sides is highlighted throughout the floor, thanks to meticulous design planning. Indeed, the stowage of the structural frame of the existing building with the amenities have been designed to create a fluidity of traffic by being in continual contact with the city. The spirit of Montreal is also reflected in the choice of furniture, finishes, lighting, etc.
Among the constraints of this project: a very important security issue, a limited budget for such a mandate and very tight delivery deadlines.