Lighting Sets the Mood for Nature-Inspired Government Co-working Space


Nov 11, 2020

By Jason Broadhurst

When the Government of Canada contemplated developing a co-working concept, they chose Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa, for its pilot project. The intent was to open a convenient and comfortable co-working office space closer-to-home than their current downtown location. Federal employees would use it to avoid rush hour, stay productive during snowstorms, or seek an alternate experience working in the office or working from home.

HOK Ottawa designed a stunning 9020 sq.ft. human-centric space, with a focus on nature that enables workers to feel at ease and that adapts to a range of collaborative or individual situations.
“People feel comfortable and calm in a space with a colour palette and materials that emulate nature,” said Christian Cruz, senior designer at HOK Ottawa.

To achieve this, large wood ceilings were installed over workstations and collaborative spaces. Preserved moss walls welcome the staff as they enter the office, and textured carpeting and flooring throughout also evoke nature. With such unusual design features, Cruz was seeking clean, minimalist lighting that would complement, not compete, with these elements.

“Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a design,” said Cruz. “It enhances the aesthetic appeal and helps create the mood of a living space. We chose various Eureka Lighting luminaires for several zones because the fixtures allowed us to achieve a perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.”

Ten Verner fixtures are placed over two lounge areas, centrally located within the space, and adjacent to the entrance. The geometric shape enhances the moss walls and creates a playful first impression as you walk in. A powerful light source, softened by a polymer diffusion dome, efficiently illuminates the tables and chairs while remaining gentle on the eye. And Verner’s black finish complements the black trims on the wood ceilings and walls.

LightingAn employee kitchenette is adjacent to the lounges, and Cruz wanted fixtures in this space to be different yet cohesive. As a result, two Stella pendants are suspended over the kitchenette island. While smaller in stature, Stella has a similar aesthetic to Verner, as well as a hidden diffusion dome for uniform light. Cruz appreciated that the direct lighting effectively lights the counter space, while the indirect illumination enhances the café and kitchenette’s feeling of spaciousness.

Three sets of café tables and chairs are set against a backdrop of geometric acoustic wall panels. An Alver pendant, with a discreet LED projector, is suspended above each table to provide lighting down to the surface. Its small size and clean lines ensure that it does not compete with the panels.

Two small focus rooms are each illuminated with a Stroke wall-mounted linear luminaire. The sleek fixture provides ample multidirectional illumination to highlight the blue geometric wall covering on which it sits. At the same time, it provides enough lighting for employees to focus on the task at hand.

Feedback from federal employees has been extremely positive. They appreciate not only the easy commute to work but are thrilled by the functionality and beauty of the space. High participation numbers (pre-pandemic) indicated that this pilot project has been successful and will result in more co-working spaces down the road.

“We are extremely pleased with all the light fixtures selected for this project,” said Cruz. “The space is beautifully illuminated, and the luminaires help create a hospitable, bright, and inviting space.”

Project specs

• Project Name: Government of Canada Co-working Space, Place d’Orleans Centre
• Location: Orleans, Ontario, Canada
• Architect/Interior Design: HOK Ottawa
• Eureka Agent: WSA Light Energy Design
• Completed: September 2019
• Photographer: Mark Holleron

Jason Broadhurst is Director — Architectural Marketing, for Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Leviton Expands Camargo Manufacturing Facility 80,000 square feet in Chihuahua, Mexico

    March 30, 2023 Breaks ground on 80,000 sq. ft. production facility to support growing customer needs  Leviton recently announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Camargo, Mexico. About the Camargo Facility Expansion The over 80,000 square foot facility will house several new production lines and a distribution center for more efficient operations, as well… Read More…

  • Universal Douglas Closes Doors

    March 29, 2023 Almost two years to the day that Panasonic Corporation sold Universal Lighting Technologies and Douglas Lighting Controls to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Atar Capital comes news that the recently rebranded Universal Douglas business is expected to stop all operation in July. According to a letter sent to its customers and reprinted on The Edison Report, the company is “committed… Read More…


  • Light at Night and the Inequality Gap: Progress and Challenges

    Light at Night and the Inequality Gap: Progress and Challenges

    March 9, 2023 In December 2021, the DLC hosted a webinar that explored issues related to “Bridging the Inequality Gap” in outdoor nighttime lighting. The conversation introduced research on how lighting contributes to discrimination and inequity in underrepresented communities, and generated heightened interest among attendees. To follow up on the research and work presented, the DLC sat… Read More…

  • LIT Design Awards Light Art Project Winner: Integral Group

    LIT Design Awards Light Art Project Winner: Integral Group

    December 19, 2022 Prize(s) Winners in Light Art Project Company Integral Group Lead Designers Ellie Niakan + Catherine Chan Photo Credits Catherine Chan Completion Date December 21, 2021 Project Location New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada Although appearing as solitary, trees are connected to one another through vast underground systems known as mycorrhizal networks. Through these hidden systems—a symbiotic relationship between plants… Read More…

New Products

  • Introducing LED-integrated Wine Rack System from MP Lighting

    Introducing LED-integrated Wine Rack System from MP Lighting

    March 23, 2023 Wine enthusiasts, sommeliers, and casual appreciators alike can all agree: wine is delicate. The naturally occurring chemicals in the wine can be disturbed by many environmental factors, mainly heat, lighting, and vibrations. To aid in the prevention of these factors spoiling the wine, wine racks can be installed. LED-integrated wine rack systems… Read More…

  • Punctuate with Hyphen. New architectural luminaire system by Fluxwerx

    Punctuate with Hyphen. New architectural luminaire system by Fluxwerx

    March 23, 2023 Fluxwerx makes a break from the ordinary with the launch of Hyphen—a family of discrete recessed and surface luminaires to design, define and leave your mark. With Portal, Fluxwerx pushed past conventional downlights and cylinders in our drive to give designers new and differentiated aesthetic options with innovative optics that maximize visual… Read More…