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IA’s Design of the Scotiabank Digital Factory Empowers and Challenges Staff

The city-block-sized space fosters teaming and productivity.
Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.
Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

IA recently completed a new workplace for Scotiabank in Toronto, designed to support the financial firm’s agilists, engineers, and technology developers—who in turn support more than 23 million customers in over 55 countries. To enhance productivity and attract top engineering and technology talent, the facility, dubbed the Digital Factory, functions as a collaborative team space while showcasing Scotiabank’s commitment to its staff. The design creates an environment where employees can be adventurous, empowered, and challenged.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

IA’s integrated team of strategists and designers began the design process by analyzing the client’s workstyles, goals, and culture, and observing the staff’s diversity of collaboration methods.  A common thread emerged: employees typically commandeered a central area to use as a presentation space, and those activities would spill into adjacent work areas. As a result of this analysis, the Digital Factory teams embraced IA’s proposal to devise central gathering area in the form of a 32-foot diameter rotunda.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

IA’s data and research analysis drove the development of the program and design concept, which resulted in a gear-shaped floorplan that suits and supports the Digital Factory teams’ needs. Staffers now work in flexible benching neighborhoods; collaboration spaces within arm’s length feature open booths and lockers with AV-integrated meeting tables. The more densified program allocates 159 square feet per person, providing ample room for communal collaboration, lounge, and touchdown areas.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

A robust amenities program includes a full-service kitchen, a massive game room with ping-pong table and custom wall-mounted versions of Scrabble and checkers, a bowling lane (called the Back Alley), a tech stop (the Gear Shack), a full fitness center, and a speakeasy bar (aka the Vault) accessed via a bank-vault-inspired door. A screen of planters demarcates a getaway space with cityscape views. Aptly named The Plant, this quiet zone provides communal table seating where staff members can work individually but remain together. A terrace off the central café area, dubbed Southside Betty’s (a play on local favorite Betty’s restaurant), can function as spillover zone for town hall meetings. Providing additional flex space, the café connects via a garage door to a boardroom. An extension to this terrace is currently under construction to expand the café and increase outdoor collaboration space.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.
Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.
Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

A wireless access-point system allows employees to work untethered, able to upload and download at 400-600 megabytes per second from anywhere within the plan. LED lighting is zone controlled through an IP addressable system, allowing infinite customization.

A massive digital wall streams live data onto the entry area’s stretch-LED digital panels, 11’ 7” high, connecting Digital Factory occupants to real-time information about the larger Scotiabank organization, as well as to customer feedback.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

Inspired by a combination of brand and IA’s feng shui analysis, color is used to identify the floorplan’s six neighborhoods. Painted portals and color-coded rooms break up the city-block-sized space for easier wayfinding. Neighborhoods, meanwhile, are themed according to important breakthroughs in art, storytelling, architecture, gaming, music, and film. The new workplace responds to and focuses on staff with a creative approach that makes coming to work rewarding and takes big strides in driving Scotiabank’s digital transformation and production development.

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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.
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Scotiabank in Toronto. Photo by doublespace.

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