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Project Files: BlueCat Networks

A GREAT WORKPLACE FOR A GREAT PLACE TO WORK.

BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame
BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

In 2017, Toronto’s BlueCat Networks, an enterprise DNS and cyber security provider, was named on a trifecta of Canada’s best lists: Best Workplaces in Technology; Best Workplace for Woman; and Best Employers for Recent Grads. BlueCat is a firm focused on, and inspired by, its shared values—clarity, curiosity, collaboration, transparency, and ownership—displayed in foot-high letters boldly painted on a wall at its new IA-designed offices. Planned to celebrate culture, enable collaboration, support growth, and recruit and retain top talent, the flexible design is based on the theme walk in the park.

BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame
BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Floor to ceiling glass walls at the perimeter offer expansive views of the surrounding forest setting. The abundant daylight and use of natural materials and neutral palette supports the theme. A single leaf motif adorns the glass-wall of enclosed rooms that can be used for meetings or as offices. Each room is named for the type of tree that bears the displayed leaf, creating visual interest with a touch of biophilia.

BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame
BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

For the engineering department, a lab design provides teams of 8-10 with universal-sized workstations, shared writeable scrum walls, huddle spaces, and meeting rooms. By using the same desk module, team zones can easily be arranged in multiple configurations to best support the current initiative.

BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame
BlueCat Networks, Toronto. Photo © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

A large, multi-purpose space includes a café with picnic-style tables, beer tap, video games, and garage doors that open to the training room for town hall meetings and social gatherings. The facility also houses operations, HR, IT, three executive offices, and other corporate functions.

“Bringing the outside in was a directive and major design theme for BlueCat. Occupant comfort, both physically and psychologically, will contribute to BlueCat’s sustained growth in the competitive tech market,” says Beverly Horii, IA Managing Director in Toronto.

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