The Foundery co-working space located in downtown Toronto was designed and created in late 2010. Together we transformed a 2000 square foot commercial store space into an open concept, co-working space.
Take a look at the Foundery as it was before we did anything to it.
And see how it looked by the night of its second opening event.
We’ll cover more of the design process in another article, but we have some of the original elements we started with. We had a demolition plan (an important aspect of which was re-purposing as much material we could into the new space) and here you can see we had the old Balloon King sign picked up for its scrap metal content. We include this image so you can compare it with the initial design drawing for the new space (see the part of the image where the starbucks logo is) and then finally, compare that also, to the original vision by the architects who created it back in the 60′s. We find it interesting to go back to see what a thing was as we look forward to imagine what it can become.
We arranged and promoted the first ever event back in February of 2011 when the space was barely complete and the paint hardly dry. It was an event for Social Media Week and hosted by the Red Cross. The event was jam-packed and a big success. By “testing the space” with an event early on, we were able to learn about the space and make positive adaptations to its’ functionality for future events. This was a good example of design iteration being an important process-tool for optimizing any project for its’ current situation.
Again, nothing speaks more clearly than a ‘before and after’ image. Compare the image (right) of the empty, original space to the image above (where you see the participants of the Red Cross event sitting and the screen at the far end of the space).
In the unfinished building image you see a wall is there—disrupting the flow of the space and separating it into two. We actually knocked that cinderblock wall down and created a flowing open space. This decision had to be carefully weighed to consider fire code impacts, cost and scope of the project and overall benefit. In the end we believe it was the best choice. Below is another image of the same space, but empty, and with its view point changed in direction (so the camera is where the presentation screen was, looking out at the audience and toward the front of the building).
The space has now become home to a diverse group of artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and independents who are together continuing in the creation of an ever—evolving work in progress. It’s an inspiring and empowering work and event space that can be dynamically reconfigured to suit the function at hand. We created operational processes, including a working budget for financial forecasting for year one of the co-working space. We found a replacement team to take over our management role (which was necessary at the beginning to get things started). Leaving the project in good hands, as of March 2011, we continue to support and connect with the community and enjoy watching the Foundery continue to grow.
Visit www.foundery.is to connect.