Atelier Barda combines foliage with bespoke furniture at fashion brand offices

Canadian firm Atelier Barda has designed an ultra-contemporary office inside a Montreal warehouse, filled with dozens of plants and custom-made furniture pieces.

The project was completed for Ssense, an online fashion brand that sells designer labels, along with managing a fashion blog. The company’s new headquarters is located in an industrial building that formerly produced textiles.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

Spanning 24,000 square feet (2,230 square metres), the vast space was stripped down and reconfigured, with a strict minimalist design by local architecture and design studio Atelier Barda.

“Far from ostentatious, the architecture has a deliberate no-name quality that perfectly matches the company’s values and ever-changing needs,” said the studio.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

Aside from an all-black nook, the entire space is bright white with polished concrete floors. Ductwork is left exposed and painted white, with former overhead lighting also kept but reconfigured into a new linear pattern.

“The lobby has a dramatic, sequenced, almost cinematic approach, leading from a dark vestibule toward the predominantly white open-plan space,” the studio said.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

The open-plan design mirrors the building’s previous role as a warehouse, with a central sitting area breaking up the large space. “As a formal request of the client, the project asked for a large open workspace, where executives sit amongst their team,” the studio said.

Private offices and alcoves are designed around the periphery, which includes plenty of space for communal working areas. A lounge is decorated with dense foliage and low-lying furnishings, and is designed to be an “oasis” to enliven the stark interiors.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

Atelier Barda custom-designed the furniture pieces throughout, as part of its larger Foraine collection, which includes marble tables, wicker chairs, and stainless steel bar stools seen in the office.

“Their materials, textures and colours [in the furniture collection] contrast with the stark neutrality of the surrounding space and embody the elegance of the brand,” said the studio.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

Love-seats and chairs in the lounge are constructed from black metal legs and black-stained wickerwork, while coffee tables are topped with terrazzo – a composition made of chips of marble, quartz, granite and glass, and poured with a cementitious binder.

These low tables have round, organically-shaped tops of altering heights and sizes, allowing the tables to link and layer in a sort of amoeba-like system.

Ssense by Atelier Barda architecture

Atelier Barda has also completed two home renovation projects in the city, including a family residence converted from a shop with pink and teal accents, and a monochrome loft apartment in the Mile End neighbourhood.

Photography is by Adrien Williams.

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