VELA is a boutique life and wealth planning firm based in North Vancouver. Previously, VELA shared its workspace with other companies in its industry. When it came time to finally move into their own private workspace, the VELA team knew exactly what they wanted, and came to us to make it happen.
As a company that works with individuals and families to help them plan their financial futures and legacies, “home” is a core concept for VELA. They wanted to embody that concept in the office that would serve as their first true home, structuring their workspace around their needs and those of their clients.
Mercury specialises in executing designs by other architectural firms. But in this case, we collaborated with local design firm Trim Studio, playing a key role in designing the VELA office space and its features. Working together, we were able to come up with creative solutions that are functional, aesthetically satisfying, and most importantly, versatile.
The office is located in a commercial structure that is part of a larger residential complex. At the time that we worked on this project, this commercial structure was brand new. VELA is located on the second of its two floors. Their space includes a beautiful patio which gives them an outstanding view of downtown and Vancouver Harbour.
From a design standpoint, one of the challenges was how to make the space feel open and airy despite the relatively low ceilings. We also needed to make the office adaptable to support different work functions. It not only needed to be able to accommodate the day-to-day workflow of the office, but also meet-and-greet events with potential clients.
To facilitate communication between employees and to make the space feel bright, modern and open, we incorporated warm wood tones through the flooring and opted for glass partitions between offices instead of walls. Light can flow unobstructed through the partitions, and employees do not need to be adjacent to the patio to look out and enjoy the view. Clients can also feel welcomed by the open, inviting atmosphere, and can see employees hard at work helping other clients like them in the surrounding offices.
What really takes the openness of the office to the next level is that these glass partitions are modular and configurable. To host larger events, the staff at VELA can fold them out of the way, accordion-style. By doing so, they can fully open up the floor. Once the event is over, it is a breeze to put them back in place to accommodate their regular office routine.
We had a wonderful time working with Trim Studio to create a home for VELA that would be flexible to their needs. The staff at VELA have given us rewarding feedback about working in their custom office space, and we are pleased that they are enjoying using it as much as we enjoyed building it.