Workspace of the Month: Inside Pinterest’s Colourful New Toronto Office
In our Workspace series, CB is featuring interesting, smart-designed and one-of-a-kind spaces across Canada. From innovative home offices to out-of-the-box co-working spaces to unconventional setups—like this beauty company run out of a rural farmhouse and this carbon-bike company located in a former auto body shop—we are looking to showcase the most unique and beautiful spaces from all industries. This month we are profiling the new Toronto office of Pinterest.
Since opening its first Canadian office in 2018, the San Francisco-headquartered image-sharing and social-networking site has grown its local team to more than 150 staff. In September, Pinterest unveiled its new Toronto base to accommodate its growing teams across engineering, sales, marketing and communications.
Located in a renovated 1920s office building in the city’s financial district, Pinterest’s office spans three floors and occupies more than 4,683 square metres. Kathy Aberin, head of workplace and design at Pinterest, says when designing the company’s international offices, her team looks for inspiration from the location of each site. “For the new Toronto office, we also had the opportunity to survey our employees and local leadership to find out what was important to them,” she says. “The overall request by our employees was to celebrate ‘everything Canadiana.'” That meant pulling inspiration from nearby spots like Allan Gardens, and decorating walls with works from local artists like Avleen Kaur, Emily May Rose and Curtia Wright. Meeting rooms are also themed based on Canadian staples like plaid, maple syrup and poutine.
The architect behind the project is Gensler Architects while the interior was by Pinterest’s in-house design team who furnished the space with items from Insidesource. Media Objectives did the graphic design found around the office building, like the wayfinding signage that has colourful numbers to mark the different floors.
The workspace is intended to inspire employees and allow them to move around as they see fit. Should someone want to set up at a workstation, there are 188 to choose from, but team members are also welcome to sit in the cafe or a common open space throughout the day. “This new office space was thoughtfully designed by our team to stimulate creativity and foster collaboration,” says Kristie Painting, Pinterest’s country manager for Canada.
Because Pinterest has a flexible work policy that allows staff to work from home or the office, meeting rooms were designed to allow for both in-person and video experiences; chairs set up in a semi-circle facing large video screens allow at-home employees to feel as if they’re in the room.
And for those in the office, it’s not all work and no play. Pinterest’s space has a game area, an indoor garden and a library with a speakeasy-inspired room tucked behind a hidden door. Here’s a look inside.