Headquarters for the CNESST

Quebec city

The integration of 1850 workstations, a major challenge

The mandate for the new CNESST headquarters, a government institution located in Quebec City, required ingenuity to integrate 1850 workstations and a wide variety of collaborative and individual workspaces in a surface spread over 8 floors. Carried out in a consortium with the firm Coarchitecture, LemayMichaud took charge of the architecture, interior design and graphic design components for the execution of the interiors and wayfinding design.

The integration of this many workstations represents a major challenge for any project, since it entails, among other things, acoustics and safety issues.

In these institutional offices, the work spaces are arranged in such a way as to limit closed offices and democratize natural light. The open areas are found in the periphery and the closed offices are concentrated in the centre of each floor, the goal being to maximize light offered by the abundant fenestration.

On each floor, a variety of groups and individual spaces have also been implemented and paired with a room reservation system to encourage their use by employees. This design responds to the new need for companies to offer employees a variety of work environments, but also to provide rooms for virtual meetings to meet the needs of the new hybrid work mode.

The client also wanted to integrate reserved for the management and the board of directors. These spaces, located on the top floor of the new construction, include, among other things, a chair room whose furniture was designed and made to measure according to the client’s needs. The immense windows offer a panoramic view of Île d’Orléans and Quebec City. The interior design has been treated in the spirit as of the rest of the building: vertical wooden slats, frosted glass, an acoustic wood ceiling and a lot of white.

Wood, the key material of the project and its main challenge

The 8 floors of offices surround the large wooden atrium, the focal point of the project, and in fact the largest in Canada. It took a lot of creativity and innovation to integrate a wood structure into the noncombustible building, such as presenting an alternative measure to that proposed in the building code.

In addition to the wood and wood veneer, the finishes used in this project offer a warm and bright minimalist corporate atmosphere. The skillful use of black and white, wood-effect and stainless steel contrasts harmoniously with the integration of the client’s corporate colors throughout the spaces, on the walls or glass partitions.

Common areas promoting social interaction and well-being

A hierarchical strategy for the interior common spaces has been implemented to ensure the proximity of these complementary spaces for each user while also allowing all of the building’s occupants to socialize.

On each floor, there is a coffee and rest area divided into two zones: a kitchen area equipped with the usual appliances, and a relaxation area with sitting and standing areas.

As the client is a government institution committed to the well-being of his employees at work, he also wanted a health centre to be included to the project. The facilities include a stationary bike room and a gym with various equipment, shower rooms and a locker area. The lobby furniture for this space was custom-designed and the materials used, such as ceramic and stainless steel, facilitate maintenance but also ensure the long-term durability of the facilities.

In consortium with Coarchitecture

Structure : SNC-Lavalin

M&E : Pageau Morel ; CIMA +

Contractor : EBC