Project Feature: Deloitte

October 5, 2016


Expe­ri­en­tial graphic design as a comple­ment to the archi­tec­ture and inte­ri­ors creates a sophis­ti­cated and dynamic envi­ron­ment at Deloitte’s new national office.

It’s clear that chang­ing work styles are affect­ing how profes­sional spaces are being orga­nized and used. Deloitte has embraced this collec­tive shift by a corpo­rate commit­ment to work­places designed for the future. Deloitte’s Bay Adelaide East office in Toronto is a real­iza­tion of this vision with a space that is not simply for work, but also for commu­nity. Archi­tec­ture, inte­rior design and graph­ics merge into an envi­ron­ment intended to inspire, encour­age, engage, and culti­vate growth, learn­ing and collab­o­ra­tion.

Deloitte’s Bay Adelaide East office occu­pies the first sixteen floors of 22 Adelaide St. W., for a total of 420,000 sq. ft. of office space. Much of it reserv­able on an as needed basis. Profes­sion­als have access to private work areas, open lounges, and social spaces like cafes and bistros. Merg­ing the profes­sional with the social, this state-of-the-art facil­ity is purpose­fully designed for flex­i­bil­ity.

Work­ing in part­ner­ship with Deloitte, Entro was called upon to develop visual strate­gies that would enrich their office envi­ron­ment by build­ing out cohe­sive and engag­ing envi­ron­men­tal graph­ics aligned with Deloitte’s archi­tec­tural vision.

“Deloitte’s corpo­rate vision focuses on creat­ing progres­sive spaces for employ­ees,” says Entro’s Rae Lam, project manager on Deloitte, “our role was concep­tu­al­iz­ing how we could elevate the inte­ri­ors graph­i­cally and contribute to posi­tive expe­ri­ences for employ­ees, help­ing them thrive.”

Design Chal­lenges

Our aim was to create a favourable connec­tion to the work­space, to stim­u­late notions of local­ity, of Toronto, of ‘home.’ Udo Schlie­mann, Entro’s Prin­ci­pal Creative Direc­tor explains, “There is an authen­tic­ity with themes that relate to Toronto, real and historic…by giving each floor a differ­ent char­ac­ter or flavour, people are able to choose an area they want to work in.” The wall graph­ics subtly blend into the archi­tec­ture, create the feel­ing of a sophis­ti­cated, modern-styled home.

Graphic Treat­ments

Envi­ron­men­tal graph­ics were key on the tower floors (7-16), enhanc­ing short-term meet­ing rooms, collab­o­ra­tion spaces and work­sta­tions. In a context where space is tran­si­tional, often booked for a rela­tively short length of time, there is very little that is personal to profes­sion­als. Envi­ron­men­tal graph­ics are impor­tant for defin­ing the space.

“People tend to stay in an envi­ron­ment they like, there is value in creat­ing that connec­tion,” says Udo. As part of Deloitte’s desire to empha­size place, a selec­tion of local histor­i­cal images were sourced. This involved signif­i­cant research and appro­pri­ate selec­tion to achieve the desired result.

In and of them­selves, the privacy films are the result of months of test­ing for opti­mal trans­parency and cover­age to ensure appro­pri­ate levels of privacy on each floor. Initially, staff found the proposed cover­age too domi­nant and requested it be scaled back. Through further test­ing, input and discus­sion we achieved a result that was a good balance between privacy and open­ness.

Udo summa­rizes, “With conven­tional privacy films you feel blocked off, [at Deloitte] privacy films on closed offices are private, but still open enough that you feel you are part of what’s going on.”

At walk stations – semi-private rooms with tread­mills that double as desks – we worked closely with Toronto photog­ra­pher Michael Maho­volich to create images that add vibrancy to the station, with a contin­u­a­tion of level them­ing.

Deloitte Univer­sity – an area desig­nated to special­ized employee train­ing – received a customized treat­ment to distin­guish the space, yet tie in with themes of Cana­di­ana. A series of photo­graphic collages, an inter­pre­ta­tion of Canada East to West, create a refresh­ing dream­scape that contrasts the dark stained cedar wood walls and narrow corri­dors. Printed on vinyl and sand­wiched between glass, the collages give the illu­sion of being back­lit. Senior designer Jacque­line Tang, elab­o­rates, “Scenic photographs of Canada were selected to create surreal land­scapes that would evoke emotional responses, mean­while comple­ment­ing the paint­ings and sculp­tures specif­i­cally curated for the Univer­sity.”

Glass Mani­fes­ta­tions

Creat­ing privacy films (also “glass mani­fes­ta­tions”) to adorn over 24,000 sq. ft. of plain glass was impor­tant for extend­ing and unify­ing them­ing, while creat­ing intrigue through vari­a­tion. On each level colour in combi­na­tion with a pattern of dots, lines or facets was applied system­at­i­cally. Like­wise, glass mani­fes­ta­tions carry these same patterns. Though applied using an adhe­sive film, they give the appear­ance of being etched into the glass, blend­ing seam­lessly with the surround­ing graph­ics.

Custom Solu­tions

In many instances graphic treat­ments were adapted to accom­mo­date uncom­mon finishes or inte­ri­ors. This involved defin­ing and sourc­ing mate­ri­als that required custom fabri­ca­tion and instal­la­tion. For exam­ple, the Deloitte Univer­sity logo was installed on a slat wall, meet­ing rooms used clear ink for privacy, and several instal­la­tions were applied to textile wall cover­ings. Our abil­ity to test prod­ucts and deter­mine appro­pri­ate solu­tions contributes to a holis­tic approach that gives cohe­sion to the space.

Eleva­tor Lobbies

With an appre­ci­a­tion for our creative approach, Deloitte was will­ing to explore some­what uncon­ven­tional ideas that contribute to a more cohe­sive inte­rior. We proposed that the level indi­ca­tors be worked into the mill­work of all eleva­tor lobbies. In collab­o­ra­tion with the mill­work trade, we were able to customize the wood treat­ment at the lobbies in order that the graph­ics inte­grated seam­lessly. The subtlety of the result contributes to its sophis­ti­ca­tion.


The Deloitte Bay Adelaide East project presents more than envi­ron­men­tal graph­ics “added” to a space. It demon­strates how archi­tec­ture, inte­rior design, art and graph­ics can all speak the same language to give vital­ity to a typi­cally static office into a memo­rable, engag­ing envi­ron­ment that leads to a posi­tive user expe­ri­ence. For Deloitte the qual­ity of their work is now reflected in their office envi­ron­ment.