Following four years of steady growth, Toronto strategy and creative shop Giants & Gentlemen (G&G) has moved out of its cozy office on Queen St. East and settled into more generous digs just a few blocks away. The Gents now occupy a 5,400 sq. ft. space on the top floor of the historic Gendron Building at 411 Richmond St. East.
With more people filling its ranks, G&G wanted to make sure to use its new space to the fullest, so the agency tapped Architects Luc Bouliane, the firm behind the recent Relmar Houses project in posh Forest Hill, to make the most of it. “The Gendron was built in 1895 by Walter Massey,” Mr. Bouliane explained. “It’s a fine example of brick and beam design, so we wanted to retain as much of the original decor as possible and create a modern workspace around it with mid-century modern furniture and industrial accents.”
“With our new office we’ve more than doubled our footprint to accommodate all our new hires over the past year,” Co-creative Director Natalie Armata remarked. “Like G&G, the space is a balance of leading edge thinking and old school values. The design and furnishings are very modern, but the skeleton is 100 yrs old. Similarly, at G&G we leverage the latest technologies and brilliant ideas to develop communication that stands out, but as individuals, we embrace old school ‘gentlemanly’ decency, so it’s a perfect fit for us.”
For G&G, it was important that its new space be informal and make a statement all while also being inviting. It was also important that the G&G brand be reflected throughout, both in the colour scheme (red, white, grey) and the overall environment (classic and contemporary). Architects Luc Bouliane accomplished it all, creating a look for the space that’s akin to a contemporary take on a gentlemen’s club. G&G’s new digs now offers its growing staff a work environment that’s not only bright and welcoming, but also inspires creativity.
Not everything, however, is new in G&G’s freshly-minted workplace. Quaint reminders of the agency’s old space on Berkley Street, like the old-timey red beer fridge and the Ping-Pong table (no longer the only spot to hold important meetings), were brought over to preserve a sense of culture and have become an integral part of the new office. Air hockey and foosball have since been added to the gamut of games available to help the staff unwind—or get inspired.
G&G also made sure to include a robust kitchen area, where a pair of oval swinging chairs give employees an excuse to curl up with an award show annual and a cup of coffee. Having all this open space has had yet another benefit: it has allowed G&G to become a pet-friendly agency. Gents can now take turns bringing their furry friends to work.
As great as it is to inhabit a space associated with the Massey name, the partners at G&G felt a special connection to the purpose the building once served. “It used to be a bicycle and toy factory, a place fuelled by creativity and curiosity, so really, not much has changed,” Ms. Armata joked.
Photo credit: Naomi Finlay
About Giants & Gentlemen
Giants & Gentlemen is a full-service strategy & creative shop offering stand-out ideas and zero attitude. As entrepreneurs, we bring a grow-or-die philosophy to help brands tower like giants while always acting like gents. Unique to G&G is Outthinking™, a process that leads to deeper insights that help bring meaning to brands.
For more information or to schedule an interview go to giantsandgents.com or contact Gino Cantalini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-568-0811.
About Architects Luc Bouliane
Established in 2010, Architects Luc Bouliane is a full-service design firm led by principles Luc Bouliane and Natasha Lebel, with a combined 30+ years of experience in architecture, interior design and project management. Our firm focuses on academic buildings, commercial interiors and custom residential projects, with substantial experience in the retrofit of institutional and historically significant buildings.
Through our three-pronged approach of Client Partnership, Design Vision and Excellent Execution, our strength lies in finding innovative, beautiful, and contemporary solutions for new or renovated mid-size building environments.
Luc Bouliane, M.Arch, BES/BArch, OAA. NSAA, MRAIC
Principal, Architects Luc Bouliane 416-500-5927