Microsoft Vancouver

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Editor’s note: Welcome to Office Space, MONTECRISTO’s new digital series highlighting some of the most beautiful, interesting, and coveted work environments in Vancouver and beyond. Think your place should be featured? Email digital@montecristomagazine.com.

Near happy shoppers skipping through racks of luxury clothing and accessories at Nordstrom Vancouver is another important status landmark for the city: the offices of Microsoft. Located at the corner of Granville and Georgia, Microsoft Vancouver is a testament to the city’s position as a global player in technology and development. The bright, open space boasts floor-to-ceiling, 360-degree windows that let in lots of natural light and show off Vancouver’s vistas out yonder. The workspaces are designed as neighbourhoods, allowing places for individual progression and group discussion. Three “hubs” allow employees to get together and eat, while foosball, table tennis, and a games room offer ways to burn some steam or shut the brain off and let new ideas flow in. And if inspiration suddenly strikes, the whiteboard walls may come in particularly handy.

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Photo by Ema Peter Photography.
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Photo by Ema Peter Photography.
Microsoft Vancouver hosts teams that work on video-chat software Skype, news-gathering site MSN, creation-facilitating application OneNote, and more. Two floors and nearly 143,000 square-feet of space means the company can facilitate up to 750 employees; an Espresso Bar is on site for necessary jolts, and The Garage creative centre lets workers experiment with everything from button-making and laser-cutting to 3D-printing.

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Photo by Ema Peter Photography.
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Photo by Ema Peter Photography.
Designed by architect Clive Wilkinson, Microsoft’s Vancouver office was inspired by something definitive for the city: a tree. High ceilings give way to a top-floor tree canopy and a bottom-floor web of roots, making the place a metaphor for shelter and creation. The tree is simple, but it is crucial for Vancouver, and like a tall cedar, Microsoft’s roots here are sure to grow deep.


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August 28, 2016