Workspace of the Week - Element AI Offices, Montreal
Providing space to pioneer the world of AI whilst drawing from Montreal's rich surroudings, Element AI's new 65,000 square-foot home is a true reflection of the company's dymanic culture.
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Software company Element AI have recently moved into their new 65,000 square ft office in Montreal, Canada. Designed around 3 themes: Montreal, the democratization of artificial intelligence (AI), and the accommodation and support of Element AI's unique culture, the primary goal of this project was to demonstrate the contrast between humans and technology - turning human thoughts and ideas into computer intelligence.
Montreal has been home to EAI for many years so deciding to establish their Head Office there was meaningful. This decision was reflected throughout the office design: drawing from the culturally rich city through the use of quintessentially Montreal materials like brick and metal stairs. Additionally, local makers and crafters contributed custom lighting, finishes, millwork and furniture throughout the project.
The architect Linebox Studio worked closely with local masons to design and create innovative brickwork that appears throughout the public space. Similar to how 1's and 0's are building blocks of computer code, bricks represent building blocks or thoughts which come together to form something amazing. This extraordinary brickwork pulls and extrapolates from traditional bricklaying technique, serving as a beautiful backdrop for everyday life at EAi.
Located front and centre in the public area is the Robot Laboratory, Element Ai's internal testing and experimentation facility. As one of EAi's company goals is to democratize AI, placing the testing room adjacent to the Main Reception desk as opposed to hidden away manifests this in a tangible way.
Also significant to the internal community of the office space, is the Espresso, Tea and Kombucha bar. Located away from the main Lounge, on Level 4, the objective was to genearate movement through the two floors, creating "watering holes" to so create accidental encounters and spark discussions.
As one of the leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence, Element AI draws on the global talent pool and recruits the top researchers from around the world. To support their way of life, the new office design includes laundry rooms, showers, yoga rooms and many other amenities to support these global travellers, so that they can focus on their work. Full of challenges and intricacies, this space is truly unique.
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