Inside Tomlinson Group’s Contemporary Ottawa HQ
Architecture firm Christopher Simmonds Architect recently designed a new headquarters for construction company Tomlinson Group in Ottawa, Canada.
“The need for a new headquarters building for the Tomlinson Group presented a unique opportunity for the company to communicate its values and demonstrate their business identity. The company’s involvement in mineral extraction, earthworks and infrastructure formed the basis for our design response and the core of what the building needed to convey. To that end, the project has been imagined as a restored and re-naturalized landscape within which the building emerges and over which it bridges. The building is inserted into an undulating, one-storey landscaped berm, which extends over the entire property. This berm is cut away and opens up at each entrance where the openings are lined with sloping, board-formed concrete. To arrive at the site and enter the building is to experience the strength of stone and earth on which The Tomlinson Group is based.
The ground floor is embedded into the landscaped berm; the strength of stone and concrete is apparent to all who pass in and out of the building. The second floor is level with the raised landscape and the third and fourth floors float above the ground. The four levels are connected by an interior atrium which extends across the width of building and into the adjacent entrance plazas. The atrium supports the development of a strong community of company members, creating visual connections between various departments, links between floors, and a “town square” setting for people to connect and interact. The office floors are split and open onto the atrium. Collaborative work spaces and open office areas line the perimeter with glass enclosed offices surrounding the inner core. On each level two bridges span across the void, while a red, sculptural stair animates the atrium and highlights the dynamic work environment.
Landscape is critical to the design and the company’s identity. Thus the berm is covered in soft landscaped grasses, while throughout the remainder of the site there are outdoor terraces, oversized limestone boulders and a storm water reservoir. The naturalized landscape provides a habitat for flora and fauna and demonstrates Tomlinson’s commitment to environmental responsibility and stewardship in all of its operations,” says Christopher Simmonds Architect.