A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Part warehouse, part office: The multifunctional workplace by Studio Roslyn

In Vancouver, Canada, Alera Skin Care’s new headquarters brings together office, event space, showroom and warehouse. This is a workplace that cuts across the usual typological boundaries.

Part warehouse, part office: The multifunctional workplace by Studio Roslyn

As an interior design and consulting studio taking inspiration right across art, design, fashion and architecture – in fact, refusing to be bound by those divisions – Studio Roslyn was well placed to bring this project to life. Alera Skin Care is a Canadian company that combines pharmaceutical science with fashion, health and wellness. Of chief concern in this brief was creating a design that expressed and expanded upon Alera’s self-image as progressive and innovative.

Functionally and conceptually, this meant a brief that started beyond the boundaries of a traditional office typology. The space itself – a 3000 square foot warehouse – certainly invites this kind of experimentation in use and presentation.

With Alera’s culture driving the overall design, a number of programmatic concerns were front and centre. There was of course the requirement for a functional office, but alongside this the space is also ready for use as a striking backdrop for product photograph shoots. It’s also there to host events as well as providing kitchen and warehouse space.

“It took some creative problem-solving to program a multi-functional office in their open concept, industrious space. Our goal was to seamlessly marry each area – private boardroom and offices, kitchen, desk space, lounge, lab, call room and warehouse – while still giving them their own design language,” explain Jessica MacDonald and Kate Snyder, co-founders and principals at Studio Roslyn.

Once the spatial problem solving was covered, attention turned to materiality and colour. The choice of a minimal base palette allows for smaller, more focused elements to gain attention. Alera’s love for natural, earthy tones, for example, led to grass-cloth wallpaper and Patagonia quartzite countertops that stand out against the muted background of concrete floors that have nevertheless been warmed with walnut and black stained ash wood.

“We took influence from Alera’s brand palette, product packaging and the plant-based ingredients they use such as grapefruit, calendula, aloe, green tea and cucumber,” say MacDonald and Snyder.

All in all, a language of understatement combines with elements of heightened material and colour intensity to create a workplace that avoids a cold, corporate feel. Instead, the space is designed with an ethos of fun and variety, a shining example of how even the effortlessly trendy industrial-warehouse office can be further adapted.

Studio Roslyn

Conrad Brown

We think you might like this story on Bernadette Hardy’s bringing Country into spaces.

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed