If you’re already having an “I hate my job” moment, you may not want to check out Travelzoo’s new Canadian headquarters.
The global travel company’s new space is one of the most rad offices I’ve seen in awhile.
Located on the 23rd floor of the tower above the Eaton Centre at 250 Yonge Street, Travelzoo’s 4,800-square-foot new digs were the result of a six-month renovation in the spring of 2015.
Travelzoo – a global Internet media company specializing in travel and entertainment – approached Dubbeldam Architecture + Design to create an interior that would simultaneously balance the impression required of an established international company with the youthful spirit of its enterprise.
The challenge included the unlikely fusion of a loft-style interior within the context of a ‘Class A’ office building.
All photos courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.
The office features a raw space of exposed concrete floors and a textured ceiling that optimizes circulation, views of the city, and natural light. It offers panoramic views of the city skyline, City Hall, Lake Ontario and the CN Tower – providing inspirational backdrops for getting down to business.
Naturally, the sleek space is filled with nods to travel and exotic destinations. The conference and lunchroom pay homage to high-speed modern transport like train stations and airports, while the huddle rooms (yes, that’s a thing) and lounge areas allude to comfortable destinations like cabins, parks, and beaches.
Travelzoo’s brand colours – red for action and blue for tranquility – are reflected throughout the space. Graphic interactive elements also incorporate travel culture motifs.
As part of Travelzoo’s company culture, the agents are encouraged to experience the travel deals that their customers do (more envy of their employees). That’s why the office includes things like an arrivals/departures board in the kitchen to keep track of their employees’ globe-trotting and an interactive world map to keep another record, as employees mark their travels with coloured wood pegs.
Despite the impressive final product, the company didn’t have a lot of cash to drop on the job. The project’s tight budget meant a strategic and outside-of-the-box approach to materials and design. The cabin volume, for example, features a Japanese automotive product printed to look like wood. Meanwhile, the conference rooms (which are complete with video conferencing capabilities) are painted in metallic silver to create the gleam of real metal, similar to that of a train.
A particular challenge involved the company’s desire for an exposed ceiling, with the building’s construction not conducive to that kind of detail. The solution involved a metal mesh ceiling that makes the space feel more open, while elegantly masking the rough texture above.
Other perks of the space include call booths for the good, old-fashioned phone call, a fully-stocked kitchen that replicates an airport lounge, breakout rooms named after Toronto neighbourhoods, and an indoor, green-filled “park” that’s designed to replicate outdoor space. Some of the walls and pillars are painted with dry-erase paint, making for easy note-taking.
Travelzoo surely won’t have a hard time finding both summer interns and future employees.