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Let the gaming begin: Design Shop’s workspace for Ubisoft, Canada

Design Shop presents an inventive workspace for Ubisoft. Located in the Historic Exchange District of Winnipeg, this workspace amalgamates historical charm, local narrative and modern design elements to reimagine office design.

Let the gaming begin: Design Shop’s workspace for Ubisoft, Canada

In the heart of Winnipeg’s Historic Exchange District in Canada, Design Shop has unveiled its latest creation: a novel workspace designed for Ubisoft, the international video game development and publishing company. Housed in a building rich with industrial history, the workspace, covering an impressive 1,800-plus square metres, blends themes of wellness, creativity and connection.

To align with Ubisoft’s playful company culture, Design Shop crafted a design strategy that promotes movement as a form of wellness. The workspace inspires employees to intersperse work routines with active breaks by incorporating climbable stair seating, wall-based alcoves, and ground-based meditative areas.

In an effort to cultivate an environment of connectivity and interaction, the workspace features a variety of areas tailored to different moods and requirements. These include formal meeting rooms for structured discussions, open workspaces for collaborative projects, and cosy breakout spaces for more relaxed, informal engagements. For the tech-savvy generation, facilities such as a podcasting room and two self-serve cafes foster space for discourse and camaraderie.

The design of the workspace is also deeply rooted in the local cultural narratives of its home state of Manitoba, in Canada. The design manifests the essence of local landscapes through the names of meeting rooms and various sensory spaces, aiming to elicit tranquillity and awe.

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Mimicking the provincial palette of Manitoba, the workspace is imbued with hues of reds, browns, greens, blues and natural wood tones. Residential elements such as maximalist wallpapers, soft furnishings and mid-century modern accents are also employed to create an inviting and comforting effect.

A key undertaking of this project was the close collaboration with the Winnipeg Historical Society to ensure that the historical integrity of the building was upheld during its renovation. This was achieved by enhancing the existing industrial character of the building and creating a unique interplay between its historical charm and its new contemporary design elements.

The design process embodied the ethos of growth and adaptability, with the initial design scope of approximately 297 square metres expanding to accommodate Ubisoft’s burgeoning team. This change was smoothly integrated into the final design.

A noticeable element of Design Shop’s strategy was the application of universal design principles. Incorporating features like single-stall bathrooms guarantees accessibility and comfort for all employees, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

In creating this workspace, Design Shop has managed to weave in elements of gaming narratives, engage with local artisans and emphasise universal design principles. The result is an imaginative studio that not only respects Ubisoft’s commitment to wellness-focused workspaces, but also reverberates with its gaming roots, all the while honouring Manitoba’s cultural heritage.

Design Shop

Lindsay Reid

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