Wallace Walk Studio

Interior photo of studio 2nd floor workspace and corridor

When we sat down as a group to discuss how we wanted our new studio to look and feel, our team found that we all wanted a variety of spaces — for sitting, working standing up, reading, meeting, and private conversations. 

Interior photo of meeting room with pinboard and movable fins

Interior photo of lounge with railpath view and plants
We like to eat lunch together, so the kitchen is designed like a comfortable café that can accommodate individuals or a larger group. When seated at the kitchen’s oak and felt bench, eye level is in line with a groundscape of native plants and grasses.

Interior photo of kitchen with WORKSHOP team

Interior photo of ground floor workspace towards kitchen

We wanted workspace dividers that would provide some privacy and sound isolation without blocking light or sightlines.

Interior photo of workstations with pinboards and supply sation in background

Interior photo of workstations with library in background

We wanted bright colours, and plants! So many plants. They extend the West Toronto Railpath greenery inside.

As an extension of the plant-theme, we added terracotta tile and feature lights by Hand & Eye Studio. The passing GO Trains inspired the dark green exposed ceiling.

Interior photo of team members in small meeting room with terracotta light fixture

Interior photo of studio 2nd floor workspace
Photo of the Eames House and StudioEames House and Studio

The resulting studio takes inspiration from the ethos of the Eames House and the colour theory of Le Corbusier, while also considering staff health and well-being and supporting a positive work atmosphere.

Throughout, we used simple, materials that are non-toxic and consider acoustics and comfort. For example, linoleum flooring covers the desktops — it’s soft for wrists, easy to write on.

Detail photo of the millwork with orange laminate and exposed plywood edging
Photo of colour and material samples laid out on a desk
Colour and material samples

The custom-built desks have cut-outs for cords and accessories and deep shelves to store full-scale drawings.

Detail photo of hands removing a drawing set from the desk shelf

To keep the long views of the railpath and to maximize daylight and fresh air in the studio, the service spaces – including the staircase, washrooms and storage, are contained within a two-story box, wrapped in rift cut white-oak veneer, punctured by frameless doors and minimal hardware.

The service box reveals a bright orange interior with supply cabinets in plastic laminate, natural rubber stairwell treads and painted walls.

A series of movable oak and mint-green fins control the light and view in the large meeting room, and pinboard panels rotate to open the room to the main space.

“It’s always a fun challenge designing your own space. We started this project with a design charette, and the ideas were endless — the difficult part was trying to edit them down and hone in on final materials. We learned early on that there is such a thing as ‘too much colour,’ but in the end I think we achieved the right balance.”

— Elaine Chau

Interior photo of wood veneer service bar and staircase

Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: 2019
Team: Helena GrdadolnikDavid Colussi, Elaine Chau, and Nina Hitzler

photos by Scott Norsworthy
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