Tag Archives: canada

King Edward Hotel Model Room a 2015 Design is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-Award winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Katie Weber shared insight from this design process with us.

Describe this project in one word. Luxurious.


How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?Great design is like chemistry: we mix elements, textures and colours in an effort to elicit a physical response from, in this case, the hotel guest. Understanding that the King Edward hotel is Toronto’s first luxury hotel, we endeavored to immerse the guest in timeless elegance that creates a sense of calm but is at the same time, dynamic.

Design is a process. Explain your journey. At MDAI we embrace and incorporate a property’s unique qualities – creating spaces that look forward while giving a subtle nod to the past.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow? There is a tendency to want to put a modern face on a property when doing a full renovation. We’ve learned that rather than masking the character, you should embrace it; that’s where the interest lies.

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2014 Market Winner: Ludia by For. Design planning

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Andre Davingnon, APDIQ® – President and Artistic Director, talked with us about creating a place to not just work – but live, minimal design, and Mary Poppins’ favorite word!

Describe this project in one word.

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_01

How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
The Ludia project proposes a new vision of profitability based on the latest corporate ideologies. Offering smaller work stations, all close together, to facilitate team interaction. Then using the saved square footage to conceive gathering spaces to create the sense of belonging to its employees. By this new approach in design, the Ludia spaces went from simple offices to a place to live. As well as a better organisation and the increase of effectiveness, the biggest success of this design was to assemble all the right conditions to allow the implementation of the game culture and socialization in the workplace: From the serious production meeting… to the next hockey game!

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_04

Design is a process. Explain your journey.
The mandate was to develop a workshop for 84 artists, collaborative spaces, a multipurpose lounge, IT lab, a server room, a cloakroom for 100 people and washrooms, in a new 9600 square feet space, with a construction budget of 400,000$. An increased challenge appeared after demolition started forcing a reevaluation of the structural condition of the historic building. With this major necessary architectural work, the initial budget was amputated and a new strategy in design was required.

To obtain optimum results and impact, while taking into account budgetary constraints, the development of the design was based on three considerations:

  • Can we design, construct and manufacture with different means?
  • Can we achieve the same result by using less expensive materials?
  • Can we save money while creating custom product?

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_07

One strategy used was to create a minimal design with the use of one or more vibrant color for a dramatic effect at a low cost. Following this principle, the new staircase and handrail were build according to industrial standard. The highly saturated orange color, used for this new area of vertical circulation, produces a grandiose effect. The lounge was fully painted black with the intention of harmonizing all of the existing architectural details from different historical periods.

This use of black paint acted as a canvas and enhanced all the colors and textures of the various furniture pieces and fun design elements. The monetary savings from the installation of commercial products such as vinyl tiles and baseboards, commercial type paint, standard doors and frames helped to put more emphasis on the lounge’s key items. More expensive products such as recycled wood, grass carpet, floral pattern carpet, mosaic backsplash, a mural by Montreal artists, printed mural and glass partitions were used in smaller quantities, creating a more dramatic effect while still maintaining a sense of unity.

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_05

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?

  • Using the physical and budgetary constraints as an incentive to create
  • Listening and a good analysis of the client’s need are a great formula for a tailored design
  • Dare to mix styles and approaches to create a unique design
  • Make it a priority to safeguard the architectural Heritage of a space and develop a new concept in keeping with the history of the place.
  • Crazy ideas exchanged while brainstorming (those we barely mention) sometimes make the best design
  • Color is your best ally – use it!
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Popping up at TED 2014: Shaw Hospitality Group’s Layered Luxe


The 2014 TED conference housed attendees at its new pop-up theater – designed to be rapidly assembled and disassembled annually.  Constructed in a six-day feat of logistics, this innovative structure relied on the capabilities and trust of manufacturers, fabricators and installation crews.

A total of 600 modular boxes were built in a warehouse in Vancouver, then shipped to the site. All had to be made strong enough to give the theater structural stability, but light and small enough for workers to move them around and to fit through 12-foot wide doors.  The assembly took six days and two crews of 30, each working 12-hour shifts on an hour-by-hour deployment plan to construct the structure.

The theater’s furniture, shipped from Steelcase, was installed in only 12 hours.  Designer David Rockwell relied on Shaw Hospitality Group for the carpet – not only to manufacture and ship the material in time for the event, but also for the design.  On the floor is “Crease” from the Layered Luxe Collection, which was designed in collaboration with Rockwell himself.

Watch a time lapse video of the construction of the Next Chapter Theater at TED2014.

TED2014 Theater Timelapse from Rockwell Group on Vimeo.

A theater that can be dissembled, stored and reassembled in future years seems to make sense for TED Conference, where the world’s most thought provoking and captivating speakers on technology, entertainment and design converge.

Read more about the design of the TED2014 Next Chapter Theater here.

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2013 Market Winner: PlentyofFish Media Inc. by SSDG Interiors Inc.

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Kenna Manley, Interior Designer, talked with us about creating quite spaces in a not-so-quiet office, aquatic inspiration and being driven by creativity.

When did you decide to pursue a profession in design?
I was in my third year at the University of Alberta, studying Elementary Education with a Visual Studies minor when I realized it was my creative side that really drove me.  I decided to change my direction and focus on my love for art, design and the built environment.  I moved to Vancouver and spent the next four years completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Interior Design at Kwantlen University College.


Did you ever stray from this path or think about changing course?
It took me some time to find the path of design and as soon as I found it, I can honestly say I have never thought of doing anything else.  Interior design is what I feel I am meant to do.  It’s a big part of who I am.

What about this project represents why you choose to be a designer?
This space was designed with unique elements which created and enhanced connections; between staff, their surroundings, to the brand and most importantly, to their workplace.  The new office provides an open work environment to foster creativity and promote collaboration amongst their team.  Its results such as these that illustrate how being an interior designer enables you to have positive effects on others and their daily lives.


 What is your first memory of the project?
This is the second office we have designed for Plentyoffish Media.  I recall getting an email from our client with the news that they wanted to expand by opening another office and hire SSDG Interiors again. We developed a strong concept for the previous project, and this new office space gave us the opportunity to raise the bar even higher.

What was the happiest moment of the project?
For me, it is the reaction of those who use the space that gives me joy.  When people experience it, without being prompted, in the way it was intended I know that it’s a successful project.


 Tell me something that was unusual about the project.
The client wanted to have an open concept with bench-style workstations to encourage collaboration and the interconnectivity of the space, however there were noise and acoustic concerns that they wanted addressed at the same time.  In order provide an open planning that would allow for natural light to filter through the space required unique design features to prevent potential acoustic issues.  Congregational spaces like the boardroom and café are divided with tall planters and laminated glass to decrease sound transmission.   Additionally, departments are divided by centralized quiet rooms and highly populated areas like reception and the café are designed with sound-absorbent wood slats on the ceiling to decrease noise from travelling.  The end result gives an overall open feel, while the noise of this youthful team is managed as the client had hoped.

What are you most proud of?
I am proud of the end result and the design solution as a whole.  All the elements of the space work together seamlessly to give the team what they were after, supporting variety of functions required day to day, plus a little bit more that was unexpected.


You created an aquatic motif without being obvious. Tell me more about your design process on that.
Along with the carpet design, subtle elements were included to reinforce the brand and convey the concept of water movement and fish.  Penny round mosaic tiles and blown glass light fixtures provide visual texture and resemble bubbles.  While a backlit kitchen backsplash is reminiscent of waves.  Colour was also essential to the concept and vibrancy of the space.  The use of colour blocking makes feature areas stand out against the primary neutral background.

What has been the reaction to the new space?
The office has been very well received by PlentyofFish’s team as well as visitors that have walked through. Because the office is busy all hours of the day, the space supports staff’s needs from the typical work day to the late night work sessions.


The space has many different work areas. How was the client’s involvement in creating those spaces?
Based on the type of work this group does, they needed several different styles of rooms to support a variety of functions.  The client gave us an idea of what was required and we planned the space in a way that allowed multi-functional space that can be used by staff over the course of a typical day.

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Allied International Credit takes advantage of Shaw Contract Group’s Environmental Guarantee

Shaw has recycled more than half a billion pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2006 – a major milestone in the growth of the company’s reclamation and recycling business.

This level of positive environmental impact would not be possible if not for the valued relationships with customers such as Allied International Credit, which purchased 5,500 square yards of carpet tile for its Toronto offices in 2003, and recently replaced and recycled the product with 7,500 square yards of new Shaw Contract Group product.

Allied International Credit - image 1

David Rae, President & CEO, says the initial purchasing decision was based in part on the recyclability options:

“Allied has purchased Shaw Contract Group carpet in various offices over the years and we have always found it to be the longest lasting and most durable,” said Rae.

“Our dealer, Sands Commercial Flooring, educated us on the recycling options that Shaw provides and this prompted us to select a Shaw Contract Group product as we pursue green initiatives as much as possible for all of our offices. We recently expanded and refurbished our Newmarket, Ontario call center. As we began the process, we looked to Shaw Contract Group once again for our flooring. In addition to our Toronto facility, we also installed carpet tile with LokDots in our Montreal, Quebec office. Choosing LokDots over traditional adhesive installs the same amount of carpet, yet reduces shipping cost and increases shipping efficiency. By using LokDots we eliminated 63 pails of adhesive which weighs 2,205 pounds. Our new carpet looks great and we continue to get compliments from everyone who visits our site.”

Allied International Credit - image 7

Thanks to Allied’s dedication to environmental stewardship, the company has helped to create new energy and materials for future generations.

Shaw Industries coordinates the reclamation process, where the old carpet is staged at the property during the renovation process and then transported to one of Shaw’s recycling partners. When possible, the used type 6 nylon is sent to Shaw’s Evergreen Recycling Center in Augusta, GA, where it enters the recycling process of becoming new carpet again. Here, it is broken down into caprolactam, the building block of type 6 nylon carpet fiber, and made into new Type 6 nylon again without degrading the quality or performance of the fiber. Shaw also reclaims other types of carpet fiber, and these materials are reprocessed into other products or used into waste-to-energy facilities.

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