“Slides, juicing stations and the other slick trappings of today’s media and tech companies were not an option.” So explains the press release for the VICE office in a decommissioned factory in Toronto, which instead evokes a more sophisticated vibe. The media company enlisted DesignAgency to create the new Toronto bureau, which is both an open-layout office with video recording suites, as well as a showpiece.
Led by Allen Chan, Matt Davis and Anwar Mekhayech, DesignAgency is no stranger to creating sophisticated interiors for major brands that mix work and play. The firm is behind the smartly curated Soho House Toronto and the affordable-chic Generator hotel chain, among other high-profile projects.
The full-luxe experience of the 2,275-square-metre interior begins with the reception area, with its sleek material palette in steel and stone set against raw concrete floors and rough brick walls.
Beyond the lobby is a fully stocked saloon, its walnut shelves lined with bourbon and whiskey and its bar topped in soft zinc. The tables, with marble tops, are furnished with vintage drafting chairs.
Next to it, the Bear Room is where impromptu meetings and job interviews take place. It features two 500-hundred pound coffee tables made from sawn timber logs – all set against an ox-blood coloured accent wall. All of the furniture in the space was custom-designed by DesignAgency and made by Orior.
In the mostly open-concept office – featuring workstations with sit-stand desks – giant east-facing windows usher in natural light, and the overhead lighting can be adjusted for filming. Two pavilions house the executive offices, and breakout areas provide intimate spots for one-on-one conversations.
The kitchen and a screening room with plush leather armchairs allow VICE employees to unwind in stylish settings – all characterized by a wood and 3-D cubic tile pattern.
The boardrooms feature custom lighting by local designer Mischa Couvrette’s Hollis Morris furniture brand. These interiors exemplify the seamless use of tech throughout the space; cable channels are cast into the concrete floor and are inconspicuously threaded into the tables.