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02 Mar 2017

Aviva opens ‘digital garage’ in Toronto

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Figure3 designed the space to help the insurer attract new talent and develop its digital product offering

Aviva has created a North American version of its “digital garage” concept in a corporate building in Toronto, following the first two iterations in London and Singapore.

The insurance company is developing its digital insurance portfolio – investing in technology and creating products aimed at younger, tech-savvy consumers – and it sought a workspace to help it develop in this area and attract talent from the tech sector. The 14,000sq ft space on the 49th floor of a tower in the Canadian city’s downtown provides for six different work styles.

Design practice Figure3 started by designing brick walls and arches to break up the space. A large central meeting zone with a series of risers was created as a common area and conference space. Beams and ductwork are exposed in the ceiling, while a mix of seating options and meeting spaces lends itself to the flexible working methodology. Tables on coasters with moveable televisions and white boards facilitate impromptu brainstorming sessions. Elsewhere, there are private meeting rooms and bench-style desks for focused work.

“Perhaps what’s been most fun for us about this project is how we’ve been able to completely reinvent a corporate office tower, challenging perceptions of what can be achieved in a building like this,” said Suzanne Bettencourt, principal at figure3. “The space is adaptable and flexible, it’s ideal for a division that’s going through a period of rapid growth”.

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