The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) represents over 60,000 public service professionals employed at federal, provincial, and territorial levels of government. When PIPSC entrusted HOK Ottawa to renovate its workplace at its Ottawa Headquarters, its business' nature demanded that its values of trust, maturity, and responsibility be incorporated into the design.
HOK responded by delivering a timeless, comfortable space over the two floors that excites the senses while promoting a functional and healthy workspace.
“By implementing nature-inspired colors and textures in the finishes, furniture and fixtures, we were able to create a sense of comfort in the environment that serves all users and leads to workplace wellness,” said Soha Ebadi, designer at HOK.
Extensive renovations included the retrofit of the main floor café, which also serves as conference space, and the addition of a new café on the second floor.
Eureka Scout luminaires, in various mounting types, sizes, and colors, provide the primary source of lighting in both cafés. With one exception, all cylinders are 4.5” in diameter. They feature an extra matte paint finish, which ensures the minimalist cylinders make a statement throughout. And a clean exterior, with no visible seams or hardware, completes the aesthetic.
“We wanted a lighting design that is sophisticated and timeless, with the possibility to specify different sizes and colors to create a fun and dynamic space,” said Christian Cruz, senior designer at HOK Ottawa.
The main floor café represented the most dramatic transformation. Walls that had previously blocked perimeter windows were removed. Daylight now bathes the entire kitchen space that has metamorphosed into a bright, flexible, and inviting room.
A large slatted, dropped dark wood ceiling frames the kitchen’s functional area. Six-inch high Scout luminaires are mounted onto the wood. The fixtures, with a black matte finish, illuminate the kitchen workspace, open floor space, and communal harvest tables.
The second-floor café has a similar look and feel to its main-floor counterpart, with light tones producing a relaxed, hospitable atmosphere for employees. It too features a dropped dark wood ceiling with the same 6” high luminaires, supplying general lighting to the kitchen area and direct lighting down to café style seating.
An industrial vibe emanates from a partially open slab ceiling. Scout pendants in a larger 10” height are interspersed across the ceiling in black and pale green, adding fun splashes of color against a white background. They provide illumination for harvest tables and window-facing counters.
Banquettes are nestled under a bulkhead, where 18” high Scout fixtures are mounted from the dropped ceiling, lighting the table below for a casual lunch or work meeting. The black matte finish complements the wrought-iron geometric design set against the pale blue wall behind. Identical luminaires illuminate the nearby kitchen counter, which pop against the white tile backdrop.
Anticipating that both café areas will serve multiple purposes in the future, from dining to informal meetings to employee events, all lighting was specified with a 64-degree wide-angle beam to create a functional, well-lit environment. A frosted lens minimizes glare, ensuring comfortable illumination for employees no matter how they utilize the space.
“We took a thoughtful approach to the café ceilings,” Cruz said. “Mixing and matching surface mounted and pendant ceiling fixtures helps to frame specific areas and bring them to life while providing the appropriate color temperature and illumination levels.”
Additional 18" high ceiling-mounted Scout luminaires, in a smaller 2.75” diameter, provide a more delicate profile above main floor hoteling desks. Designers specified a 48-degree medium angle beam to direct light to work surfaces adjacent to the computers while avoiding hot spots.
A second-floor corridor, with an industrial ceiling, is lit with five 18” high Scout pendants, in black.
The project also features two small focus rooms, designated as quiet spaces for employees. Each is illuminated with a ceiling-mounted Big Spin by Eureka. At 26” in diameter, the aesthetic is bold. Circular Big Spin uses an engineered steel diffuser and a gently curved reflector to create a simple yet elegant illumination. The parabolic reflector provides subtle non-glare direct and indirect lighting, ideal for the focus rooms.
“We are extremely happy with the results,” Cruz said. “The luminaires provide the right lighting levels, and while elegant, still create an impact when you enter the space.”
Project Name: The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Architect/Interior Design: HOK Ottawa
Eureka Agent: WSA Light Energy Design
Photographer: Miv Photography