Eidos-Montréal's video game studio

Eidos-Montréal's video game studio

Architect
la SHED architecture
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada | View Map
Category
Offices
Stories By
Eidos-Montréal

la SHED architecture
Eidos-Montréal™

Attracting talent through design and architecture

Eidos-Montréal as Developers

Montréal, Canada, 2020-02-03 - 

After renovations that lasted over 18 months, Eidos-Montréal™—known for the global success of Tomb Raider® and Deus Ex® games—finally moved back into their workspace in September. The studio, located in the heart of Montréal and designed in collaboration with local architecture firm La SHED, now occupies an area of nearly 60,000 square feet (more than six U.S. soccer fields)! Its initiators see the project as a new way to envision video game production: at the intersection of creativity and community.

 

"Sometimes we forget that games are first and foremost cultural products. They need environments that encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration," says David Anfossi, Head of Studio at Eidos-Montréal. "In the 12 years since we opened in Montréal, we've gone from 3 to 500 employees. We need to think of the space as a whole—an expression of the sense of community and family that sets us apart."

 

An adult playground

At the heart of the new space is an open staircase that leads to two floors. The common area is unique and reminiscent of a forum: a meeting place where narratives converge. Bright triangular light fixtures were installed on the ceiling to evoke movement, and chosen materials pay homage to the Japanese culture that connects Eidos-Montréal to its parent company, Square Enix®. To achieve this warm, minimalist atmosphere, Eidos-Montréal teamed up with a specialized residential architecture firm: La SHED.

 

"The project rests on the concept of breaking down walls to drive connections and sharing between the studio's 500 creators," says Yannick Laurin, architect and founder of La SHED. "Everything—volume, texture, lighting, visuals—was designed to make the workspace feel like a village where people work together, collaborate and communicate."

 

The studio wants to attract talent and expertise to cultivate their own know-how and innovation in a unique environment with the latest technologies. The space features a new motion capture and high-performance photogrammetry studio, a user research lab, a 4K projection room and a Dolby Atmos® voice recording and mixing studio, among the most cutting-edge in the industry.

 

The space also features Montréal-made furniture from De Gaspé and Kastella and custom built-ins from Marfoglia, which supports the local economy.

 

To learn more, check out the documentary at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFAK_txADUw&vl=fr

 

About Eidos-Montréal

Eidos-Montréal™ (a Square Enix® studio) is focused on creating immersive and captivating experiences. For the last decade, the development teams at Eidos-Montréal have orchestrated the successful reboot of the DEUS EX® series (Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided®), released the latest entry in the THIEF® franchise, and have also played a key role in the development of the award-winning TOMB RAIDER® series. To ensure its creative vision can be realized in-game, the studio has developed its own cutting-edge technology, the Dawn Engine®. The studio also provides technical support for Square Enix operations around the world, including research and development, quality assurance, and playtests.

 

About Square Enix Inc

Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix group of companies. Square Enix, Inc. is affiliated with a global network of leading development studios such as Crystal Dynamics® and Eidos Montréal™. The Square Enix group of companies boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 149 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 80 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 75 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

 

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at https://square-enix-games.com

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Eidos-Montréal

la SHED architecture as Architects

Inspired by the video game environment created by the company and the sense of community experienced in the studio, the architects designed the layout of the new space to reflect that of a city, by playing with urban planning principles as if their studio was a town of itself.

 

Like the central square of a city, the so-called «forum» opens over both floors of the studio, serving as a gathering space toward which all traffic converges and in which a variety of social interactions can take place. The architecture and furniture participate in the social life of this agora, from the tables designed for collaboration to the bleacher stairs that connects the two floors and serve as an amphitheatre for presentations. This large space is surrounded by a myriad of rooms, which are symbolic of a town’s small buildings. These spaces embody the fullness and emptiness that combined form a city. Their placement naturally generates public squares and alleyways. The functions of the spaces are expressed through their own materials, which serve as points of reference: white mosaic tiles for the washrooms, grey felt for the sound studios, and frosted glass for the meeting rooms.

 

Created from scratch by the architects, the ceiling was formed using a triangular grid, reflecting the graphic identity of the business and that of some of its video games. All of its components were custom made, from the diffusers to the lighting fixtures. This mesh that spreads out through the whole studio, created using acoustic foam tiles of various thicknesses and density, defines different zones and combined with triangular light fixtures forms a lighting path that marks the way. Like a starry canopy, the ceiling creates a unique, fantasy-like quality to the space.

 

The reproduction of reality using urban elements is inspired by the work done by the studio to create universes in its video games. The project flirts between reality and fiction, without ever becoming factitious, through custom-built, representative, and meaningful design. Far from having the relatively dark aesthetics that are often associated with video games, the studio is bright, soothing, and comfortable, reflecting the boldness and vision of the company.

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