Fourteen years ago, four amazing electronic music visionaries created an event that revolutionized the Montréal cultural scene: Piknic Électronik. Just a few minutes from downtown on the picturesque Île Sainte‑Hélène, the Sunday afternoon celebration has become so huge that it draws top DJs from around the world. In 2007, the success of Igloofest, a winter version of the same concept, exploded the phenomenon. Today, the formula has been replicated on an international scale, from Barcelona to Melbourne, through Dubai and across to Santiago. To give their ever-expanding team a vibrant yet practical place to work, the producers contacted the architects at L. McComber. The new HQ will be fun, laid‑back, open and productive…just like the young company! Private open spaces
How do you balance the benefits and annoyances of an open‑concept office? How do you encourage collaboration while keeping things relatively private? How do you keep the hubbub of boisterous colleagues down? Open‑concept, the ultimate symbol of synergy and life in a workplace, accommodates more people in large, bright spaces. To make sure that everyone could enjoy the space without having to endure the general cacophony, the architects employed three strategies: create semi-open executive offices for the four co‑founders, add multiple set‑back areas where people can gather casually, and offer a variety of small closed, isolated meeting rooms. Light for all
Located in a former clothing factory in the Mile End neighbourhood, the office has a wide bank of windows that wraps around the building. To make the most of this feature, workstations line the outer walls. This arrangement offers employees plenty of natural light and a sweeping view over the Jardin des possibles. Standing desks
Made from a solid ash slab on raw bent steel supports, the custom furniture was raised to give employees the option of either sitting or standing. A low steel screen divides the individual workstations and lets employees personalize their own corner with a system of magnets. LED strips are concealed under the bend of the top section to directly illuminate the work surface. Four founders, four booths
Right in the centre are four semi-open booths, very much reminiscent of take-out stands, for each of the founding partners. Made from local poplar plywood and translucent polycarbonate, they let in lots of natural light. These compact micro-offices have an integrated work desk and a small sit-down table in solid maple for private one‑on‑ones. A large pivot pane encourages team members to stop by and grab some work…to go! Multiple gathering spots
Between the four executive offices and away from the workstations, the Bequia modular seating system made in Montreal by Perez furniture, and low bent steel tables serves as a casual spot for people to gather. With countless configurations, the space lends itself well to all sorts of activities, including friendly chit-chat, team meetings, group training, screenings, conferences and cocktail receptions. Although set back, these more discrete activities are still public. For confidential meetings, visitors and employees can use a number of closed‑off rooms with a variety of setups.
A central feature of the layout, the long bar‑style counter makes a statement with its fifteen feet of solid ash. Spanning the length of the lunchroom, it is ideal for co‑workers to enjoy a chat over a meal. A large serving hatch with cabinets, top and bottom, hides all the kitchen tools and implements. Seated comfortably at the counter, the team has an unobstructed view of the open office. This makes for a perfect post-industrial piknic in great company! Creative and inspiring, Piknic Électronik HQ speaks to the values of the burgeoning company through its layout. Open, warm and inclusive, it provides the optimal balance between peaceful and lively spaces.