At the key intersection of King and Spadina in downtown Toronto, Travel Centre represents a rethinking of the corporate workplace, merging a storefront retail area, and an event space with united offices for Flight Centre’s four brands, establishing a location where working, selling and socializing seamlessly collide. Aiming to create an environment that would inspire people to travel, the three-storey interior was influenced by 19th century explorers’ clubs and movies about fantasy travel including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Repurposing what was originally built as a 19th century garment factory, the project addresses both the historic yet rapidly intensifying area, by keeping the scale and heritage quality of the facade intact while creating eye-catching interiors that capture the attention of passersby. The transparency of the design also reflects Travel Centre’s motto, “to open up the world for those who want to see.” On entry to the double-height lobby and retail space, guests are struck by the ironic calculated contrast between the historic post and beam interior and an the angled black box boardroom. This futuristic element, which hovers over a dual retail counter and reception desk, is glazed at both ends – providing transparency deep into the space while also framing views to the street. The entry invites curiosity, casting views in multiple directions, while inviting the live beat of the busy street to infuse the interior. Comfortable tables, casual chairs and banquette window benches invite guests to linger, leaf through the displayed brochures and discuss their travel plans. Monitors display the days’ best travel deals. The floors, decorated with a pattern of oversized passport stamps, immerse visitors in their own travel fantasy. On the upper level, a spacious Explorers Club serves as an event space, a drop-in workspace for visiting executives, and a backdrop for social media broadcasts. An open-concept serving kitchen and bar sets the atmosphere for hospitality and entertainment. Informal gatherings can take place in the Map & Charts Room or the Travel Library, and desks concealed in oversized travel trunks on casters can be opened to provide personal workspaces. The lower level workplace area brings the various Flight Centre brands together in a single location. Quadrangle painted the brick walls white to optimize reflected daylight in the space. Open-style benching workstations are organized into departmental pods while individual desks are unassigned, allowing teams to ebb and flow with demand. Each brand is demarcated by its own, bold colour scheme and the central area buzzes with activity around the central kitchen and socializing space. “A key challenge of this project was to design a workplace that easily accommodates and unifies the multi-use spaces from day to night, while bringing together all the entities within the Flight Centre brand,” commented George Foussias, Design Director, Quadrangle. “We started by locating an anchor, vintage building, into which we fit a boutique retail store, a signature event space, and a state-of-the-art work environment that speaks of travel, wonder, and adventure.”
Architectural/Interior Design Team: Quadrangle
Team: Caroline Robbie, George Foussias, Andrea Hall, John Beauvais and Punam Pathak
Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: (Mechanical) GPY + Associates Engineering,
(Electrical) Mulvey + Banani International Inc.
Contractor: Ledcor Construction Group
Structural: Brenik Engineering
Photographers: Adrien Williams
At the key intersection of King and Spadina in downtown Toronto, Travel Centre represents a rethinking of the corporate workplace, merging a storefront retail area, and an event space with united offices for Flight Centre’s four brands, establishing a location where working, selling and socializing seamlessly collide. Aiming to create an environment that would inspire people to travel, the three-storey interior was influenced by 19th century explorers’ clubs and movies about fantasy...
- Year 2017
- Work finished in 2017
- Client Flight Centre Travel Group
- Status Completed works
- Type Corporate Headquarters / Interior Design