Strand Hall, originally constructed in 1971 for accommodating administration offices for Simon Fraser University, developed significant environmental issues over the past fifty years. Severe overheating in the summer, cold drafts in the winter and inadequate ventilation resulted in worker discomfort and absenteeism. Inadequate acoustic privacy, insufficient collaborative work space, and unclear wayfinding impacted effective working relationships within departments.
Together, SFU and PUBLIC planned a new interior design to address these building issues and provide a high performance, collaborative work space for the offices of the President, VP Research, VP Academics, Internal Audit, Finance, and Faculty Relations.
Perched on the top Burnaby Mountain, natural light penetrates Strand Hall through renewed skylights and triple-glazed, operable windows, offering spectacular views to the North Shore Mountains. A mix of private offices, meeting rooms and open offices are organized in a figure eight pattern to allow for ease of access and clear sight-lines between work areas, meeting spaces, and the view.
For faculty, staff and students, the organization is clear and inviting, and accommodates a variety of needs and working styles, from boardrooms, collaborative work spaces to phone booths for confidential calls. Flexible offices delineated by prefabricated wall panels allow for changing work requirements, ease of maintenance and information system upgrades. The office layout supports the University’s pandemic response by accommodating one-way movement through the space and adequate social distancing between work areas.
The new open ceiling concept increases light, spaciousness, and reveals an impressive long span concrete structure now seismically reinforced which provides a unique work environment emblematic of SFU’s iconic Burnaby campus. The reception area features a light oak wall and granite, which references Convocation Mall and the Academic Quadrangle thematically tying the internal activities of the President’s office to the campus as a whole. Extensive incorporation of SFU’s diverse art collection adds to the overall ambience of this redefined work environment.