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Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk

SDI Design
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada | View Map
Project Year
Ben Tenn Yuk
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Decorative LightingLouis Poulsen
FurnitureBilliani srl
Elan Sofa, Lounge Chair - Low Pad Cappellini
Dividend Sit Stand Desk, Dividend Sit Stand Frame, Custom Marble Knoll

Product Spec Sheet
Decorative Lighting
Elan Sofa, Lounge Chair - Low Pad
Dividend Sit Stand Desk, Dividend Sit Stand Frame, Custom Marble
by Knoll

Novo Nordisk

SDI Design as Architects

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat obesity, hemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic diseases. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,700 people in 77 countries and markets its products in more than 165 countries. Novo Nordisk celebrates 35 years in Canada in 2019. We have a flexible, family-friendly work culture that prioritizes innovation, agility and simplicity. There are over 300 employees in Canada with a head office based in Mississauga, Ontario.

The former premises were situated on two floors, split by multi-floor gap which resulted in a difficulty to “cross-pollinate” between departments within the organization. With outdated workstation configurations, small floor plates hemmed in by offices and a general disconnect between the staff, the existing design created prominent silos within the organization.

Three typical work cluster arrangements with varying degrees of focus-orientation were developed to support team work styles. Encouraging collaboration, the clusters are connected by a continuous circulation pathway sprinkled with a variety of focus/privacy and smaller meeting spaces, including 2 person and 5-6 person rooms, 1 on 1 alcoves, and ample lounge seating lining perimeter windows. The idea was to encourage a culture of collaboration and activity based working through the use of these breakout spaces.

Their existing space had client facing areas buried inside staff areas and the client was impeded in presenting a modern face to outside world. Hosting regular workshops and events at external facilities was expensive and without adequate branding opportunities.

We took a bold step and convinced the client to devote the entire ground floor as a ‘gathering space’. Just beyond reception is a collaboration area doubling as gathering space for client events. Through a series of solid and glass movable partitions, almost the entire ground floor can be opened up into an extensive event space. An interconnecting feature staircase provides a strong connectivity between the floors encouraging employees to venture downstairs and work in the communal area.

From its proud Scandinavian cultural heritage, to patronage of Danish design leaders, to Canadian-related origins (Toronto’s ‘Banting & Best’, who discovered insulin, shared their formula with the company founders), were some of the many influences that presented an opportunity to sensitively reflect the company back to its origins.

Nodding to Danish design and mythology as well as Canadian culture, the concept was inspired by the idea of a vibrant tree whereby the light filled upper floor is where growth takes place, the ground level forest floor is where roots are nourished and the staircase is the connecting trunk between the two. An iconic Canadian ‘boathouse’ overlooks a lake (café) and little “Troll-houses” 1 on 1 spaces enjoy aboriginal Canadian art. These labels helped the client inform their own culture within the company. In one example, they were inspired by our idea of the ground floor as a place of nourishment and decided to introduce daily hot catered lunch to bolster culture and foster interaction between the staff.


Material Used :
1. Wall plant feature: Planter by Home Station (Burlington), Styled by: John Girouard
2. Feature Light: Dome 60 by Bover
3. Sofa: Elan Sofa by Cappellini
4. Bench & Table: Croissant table & bench by Billiana
5. Art work: From Galerie LeRoyer_ Artist: Marc Quinn: Title: Eye of History, Etching on Archival Paper
6. Lounge Chair: Low Pad by Cappelini
7. Pendant Light: Cirque Pendant by Louis Poulsen
8. Inuit Art work: by Kenojuak
9. Art work: Abstract Multi Figurative 
10. Bar Stool: Tre Stool by Davis
11. Executive offices: Dividend Sit Stand Desk by Knoll
12. President office: Dividend Sit Stand Frame by Knoll; Custom Marble

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