Last Wednesday, 25 York Street, built by Menkes Developments and designed by Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company (or &co) and Adamson Assoicates, became TELUS House Toronto, in a ceremony that brought Telus executives from across the country, together with the building's architects, federal politicians, workers from the building, an acrobatic dance troupe, and the media.
We'll start with the ceremony, and follow with a building tour.
The group gathered in Telus's flagship retail store on the ground floor of this 30 storey complex.
The ceremony was opened by Joseph Natale, Executive Vice President and President of Consumer Solutions at Telus Communications.
Next to speak was Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment. TELUS House is a particularly green building, and is targeting LEED Gold certification.
Following Mr. Prentice was Peter Menkes, president of Menkes Developments.
Darren Entwhistle, TELUS president and CEO then took to the stage.
Mr. Entwhistle's speech emphasized the green aspects of TELUS House, and Telus' corporate ethos of giving back to the community. The speeches culminated with a significant gift to the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation.
So, time to head up the elevators:
Principal Dermot Sweeny of Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company Architects, a.k.a &Co, led the tour:
The first stop is the 5th floor, which includes a large gourmet kitchen for cooking classes and nutrition courses, both popular as team-building exercises:
Off of the kitchen you will find a green roof/patio area on top of the podium box:
There are also indoor spaces to eat and meet on the floor. We stop for a while in one of them to hear about the benefits of building's 11 foot high floor to ceiling windows.
The 5th floor also features an innovative Telepresence conference room:
What is Telepresence? This is Telepresence.
Next, a visit to a typical office floor, the 27th to be exact. No offices sit right up against the windows; in fact the space along the window walls is reserved as circulation space. Columns holding up the building are 4 metres back from the windows, so they nestle in amongst workspaces. Workspaces also feature independent airflow and temperature control. Overhead lights sense movement and only turn on when workers are preset and natural light is not sufficient.
Central areas on each floor provide space for employees to meet, and workspaces are flexible.
Of course, views from this building are pretty spectacular:
Next, we head back down to the 3rd and 4th floors, which read as the black box of the podium. Facilities inside the podium are numerous, and include a wellness centre, with physiotherapy, massage, meditation, and prayer rooms, as well as fitness eqipment:
Another boardroom in the podium features large screen Telus television... which you can't get in Ontario yet. Someday...
At the back of the podium is access to the largest of the three green roofs at TELUS House, which features an herb garden overlooking Union Station and the financial core. The plants are just in the ground now, but should look spectacular, especially from the bank towers as they grow in.
Finally, back down to the lobby, and another look at Michael Awad & Daivd Rokeby's lovely light sculpture (sorry about the low res...) Overall, the impression one is left with of TELUS House is of a tremendously successful collaboration amongst the developer, the architects, and the major tenant. The views, the creature comforts, the green features, the great location by Canada's largest transit hub, its closeness to the Gardiner, walking distance to major entertainment venues, all add up to a very desirable place to work. This building is likely the benchmark against which all new office construction in this city will be tested.
|Related Companies:||Adamson Associates Architects, Enwave Energy Corporation, HOOPP, Kasian, Menkes Developments, Stephenson Engineering, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Trillium Architectural Products|