Redefining the collaborative workplace

A new head office by Figurr Architects Collective breaks the mould for collaborative workplace design for Caivan and its subsidiary, the Advanced Building Innovation Company 

Designed by Figurr Architects Collective

From the architects:

The design blends modern workplace elements with warm textures and natural light to create a space brimming with creativity.

Located in Barrhaven, Ontario, a suburb of Ottawa, and close to a growing community, Caivan / ABIC's new 4645.152m² headquarters and manufacturing plant supports the company's long-term vision of creating a modern work environment for their employees, and a dynamic new space to support the homeowner journey and their expanding community offerings.

The office is the second phase of a multi-phased construction project. 

Phase one, also designed by Figurr Architects Collective, was a fast-tracked fabrication facility that houses innovative robotic fabrication systems. 

That new approach builds sustainable, prefabricated residential home panels for Caivan’s home-building business. 

Phase two, a new two-level headquarters, includes administrative spaces, a public sales centre, a design centre, an 'experience centre,' a reception area, a town hall atrium, a boardroom, meeting rooms, a combination of open and closed office spaces, a series of kitchenettes throughout the building to support the team, and touchpoints where the team can come together for informal collaboration and conversation.

An individual element of this design is the town hall atrium, which links all of Caivan's internal community, including sales, the design centre, fabrication, and administration. 

Not your typical corporate office 

This forward-thinking workplace has more in common with a modern public building supporting a rich community, one that everyone wants to hang out in. 

The town hall atrium can hold company-wide events, keeping Caivan's team informed on all aspects of the business.

The sun-filled communal space has expansive bird-safe glass walls that link the indoors and outdoors. 

To ensure the town hall atrium would be a comfortable place to work throughout the day, the design team spent a great deal of time studying the sun's angles and analysing reflections in the glass design.

As seen throughout the space, wood was a central part of the design strategy as part of a commitment to minimise the project's environmental impact. 

The architects incorporated wood in an efficient, conservation-minded approach, reflecting Caivan's approach to all of its residential projects.

Innovative to the core

The new head office breaks away from the traditional showroom experience and acts as a showpiece representing the company's commitment to its team, the homeowner experience, design innovation, and craftsmanship.

Caivan wanted to create an immersive visitor experience. 

As such, the 'experience centre' includes opportunities to learn about ABIC's unique manufacturing process and the Caivan values as an integrated land developer and homebuilder. 

The showroom includes a mezzanine with views into the company's fabrication facilities. 

This connection between the design centre and the fabrication plant gives prospective homeowners a behind-the-scenes look at how their home is manufactured.

Site challenges informed the design

This project encountered several design challenges. 

Situated on top of an old quarry, the site conditions were challenging to navigate. 

After initial design approvals and test digs, the building's location changed. 

Figurr's design team and the contractors were agile enough to adapt to unforeseen conditions and to replan the design to meet the new site constraints.

The new head office achieved its goals and gave the company a modern and efficient building to support its team.

Sustainability features

  • EV charging stations.
  • Solar shade along the perimeter of the administrative wing.
  • Atrium has minimal south-facing glass.
  • Main entry glass is protected.
  • Bird-safe glass that prevents reflections.
  • Environmentally friendly products selected wherever possible.

Collaboration is the key to high-calibre design

Innovation, precision, and clean approaches to design were essential on this project. 

The building integrates wood and steel columns, leaving nothing exposed, and everything fits together seamlessly. 

Mechanical ducts are hidden from view, and electrical work is embedded in the structure. 

It was essential that everyone on the team was part of the vision. 

Every detail of the design was developed in collaboration with the applicable trades.

Figurr's modern workplace design reflects Caivan's highly refined brand and provides them with a sophisticated new office that suits their team now and in the future.

Credit list

Caivan / ABIC Head Office
Caivan / ABIC (The Advanced Building Innovation Company)
Interior designer
Figurr Architects Collective
Mechanical engineers
Goodkey Weedmark
Civil engineer
Gabriel McKinnon
BBS Construction
Nak Design Strategies
Structural engineers
Cleland Jardine
Electrical engineers
Drycore / WSP
Sales centre interiors

Designed by: Figurr Architects Collective

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Tom Arban

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