Top Design Stories
The complete overhaul of Artopex’s head office in Granby is a testament to the team at Luc Plante’s efforts in blending industrial design with modern technology.
Standing out in the industrial district of Granby, located in the southwestern side of Quebec, Canada, Artopex’s head office stands out among the derelict buildings surrounding it. From its fiery red signage which welcomes its visitors, to the color panels in shades of grey, the building has been given a new lease of life, replacing the old brown brick facade that blended in with the rest of the surrounding buildings.
In keeping with the times, Artopex took on the mantle of transforming its production using robotic, intelligent, and avant-garde methods, which also meant that they had to modernize their installations and upgrade their workspaces. In line with their exponential growth, the company also found itself short of office space, with inadequate common areas and bottleneck traffic for its occupants.
Thus began the major transformation needed to meet the requirements. With the appointment of Luc Plante architecture + design firm, Artopex’s decision was to transform its head office to provide a refreshingly rejuvenating effect to the brand. The partnership was formed with the idea of creating a building that met the requirements and the needs that Artopex was looking for; a fully modernized office space that allowed for clean formatting and traffic flow.
Faced with the possibility of only limited space for outward expansion, Lun Plante had to make sure that they used all available interior spaces. Through careful planning, Luc Plante was able to miraculously boost the available office space from 12,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet. By working hand in hand with Artopex, there were frequent adjustments which reflected the ever-changing evolution of the requirements given. The focus was shifted to prioritise the well-being of all employees, while ensuring the office became a high-quality exhibition space for all Artopex products.
With the priorities in place, Luc Plante planned for a larger and brighter employee room in their plans. The meticulously designed space offered an inviting series of comfortable benches, attached to a complete and functional kitchenette perfect for all 130 employees. A ping-pong and foosball table was also placed to encourage employees to interact with each other and to engage in healthy competition.
Interaction remains a key point for employees, as Luc Plante’s plans to decompartmentalize the offices, glass-paned meeting rooms and hallways linking the various departments were done to encourage better employee interaction and to boost the friendly atmosphere that is a focal point to the founders of the company, the Pelletier family.
The upstairs spaces are also transformed, with glass being one of the key design features. The mezzanine floor is repurposed into more office space, with a viewing area that overlooks the factory space. This allows investors to have an all-encompassing view of the operations, as well as demonstrating the company’s know-how. With the glass partitions, manufactured by Artopex, Luc Plante hopes to be able to further enhance the team’s work environment. By using the company’s products in the design, the idea is that employees will have a sense of pride seeing the products, which include wood furniture, freestanding furniture, architectural walls, storage systems, and chairs, that were designed and manufactured by them
The only structural addition to the building houses the reception area; a glass cube which links the ground and first floors with the other zones. The cozy lounge welcomes visitors, while the twostorey open volume is intended to bring people together. The new addition may be vast, but at the same time, it is able to project a sense of friendliness to visitors, once again showcasing the company’s quality
The prominence of the building’s industrial backbone is one of its most distinctive architectural aspects. Pipes and exposed cables are ever present thanks to a full revamp of the building’s ventilation system, giving it a subtle yet suggestive industrial look. The overall atmosphere, which is enhanced by a splash of white paint, is light and airy, which works well with the industrial motif. The original hardwood flooring have been replaced with a calming pattern of soft, soundproof grey carpeting. Cream-tinted wood adds a warm touch to the structure while also offering a visual richness evocative of the Artopex factory’s products.
The use of technology is prominent in the design. Every training room, which also serves as a meeting space, has a touch screen at the entry that can be used to check availability or reserve a time slot. Widescreen televisions may be found in both general areas and conference rooms throughout the facility. The technology part is the next stage in Artopex’s entire company robotization, and it all fits in nicely with the design of their headquarters. Artopex’s tagline, “Art and Manner,” takes on new significance now that this significant project is complete.