Headed by executive chairman Jaime Watt, Navigator Limited is one of Canada’s top public relations firms providing support and direction for high profile companies, celebrities and politicians during times of crisis.
To maintain close proximity to most of their clientele, Navigator relocated their offices to the 18th floor of an office tower in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. However, the mandate from Navigator and Jaime Watt was for a design that did not feel like a typical corporate office interior. Since most of their patrons visit the facility during times of crisis, it was important that the space provide an atmosphere of sophisticated calmness. This primary goal was achieved in two ways: first by organizing key communal spaces as experiential nodes distributed throughout the space, and second, by the integration of warm natural materials with hand crafted details and intimate lighting.
When arriving at the elevator lobby on the 18th floor, patrons are met with a luminous cast glass wall. The patterned glass obscures views while allowing for the passage of light and a sense of activity within the space. A solid butcher-block wood signage wall with a raised Navigator logo routed out of the panel directs patrons to the entry. A vestibule was created to the side of the elevator lobby so as to draw visitors away from the public space to a more private and discrete entrance way.
Once inside, the receptionist is seated behind a simple wood desk rather than a large ‘reception desk’ with transaction counter. The effect is to create a sense of openness and accessibility by reducing barriers between Navigator staff and their clients.
Moving past the reception area, the general office spaces are organized into two zones and located on either side of a large central double-height ‘town square’ or communal lounge space. The town square is a multifunction space meant as an area for staff to break away from the office environment for impromptu collaboration as well as for food and beverage services. This space is also used to convene large business and social event gatherings after hours.