LinkedIn’s new Toronto headquarters proved a remarkable opportunity to design a workplace at a pivotal moment (in the heart of a global pandemic) in one of the most important multicultural global cities. The result is a stunning space that pays homage to its home city while establishing a bold vision for the future of work.
An ecosystem of connections, the workspace is designed to be exceptionally adaptable and nimble to empower different teams, technologies and work styles long into the future. Communal spaces — lounges, cafes, meeting rooms, amenity zones — all surround a sculptural internal stair and reference iconic pieces of Toronto’s urban fabric like The Junction, the Distillery District, Roy Thompson Hall and more.
Beyond core work areas, the office is designed with amenities that enrich employee experiences and support talent recruitment and retention. The space includes a catered café, robust fitness center and group fitness studio, video game arcade, meditation suite, mothers’ room, coffee bar and a music studio with a full recording booth.
The workplace has secured both WELL and LEED Platinum certifications, serving as a clear testament to LinkedIn's dedication to promoting wellness and sustainability.
Graphics and art bring LinkedIn’s story to life
The environmental graphics and local art program that fills LinkedIn’s Toronto workplace is nuanced, vibrant and inspiring all at once. Inspired by the “cultural mosaic” that is Toronto, the graphics explore connections, overlaps and differences that strengthen the city. Here are just some examples:
- Large conference rooms are named after cultural festivals that are in Toronto. Through these events, numerous populations — indigenous, arts and theater, immigrant communities, the city’s LBGTQ+ population — are represented. Graphic walls also feature references to diverse communities across Toronto.
- An interactive installation invites staff and visitors to make their mark permanently in the space by stringing together traits that characterize themselves and their connection to Toronto. The intent is to celebrate the individual attributes that make their people and culture unique.
- A family tree graphic illustrates how different teammates can and will define success in their careers.
- One graphic on a long wall depicts a “journey through Yonge Street” — a major urban corridor in Toronto that is widely accepted as the longest city road in the world. The graphics feature skyscrapers, historic theaters, government buildings, places of worship, sports venues, transportation hubs, parks and more from the iconic street.
- Conference and team rooms are named after groups of Canadian animals (i.e., “Sleuth” for a group of moose) and Toronto-based discoveries (i.e., “Beta” for the discovery of Insulin). We worked with the Department of Conservation to research native flora and fauna, which helped name smaller conference rooms after notable groups of Canadian animals
To amplify the environmental graphics program, our team worked with LinkedIn to select local artists for key pieces in the workplace. Toronto illustrator Jeannie Phan created a large-scale mural that highlights a Canadian natural wonder for each of the three floors that depict Niagara Falls, the Aurora Borealis and Dino National Park, respectively. At the same time, local artist Amritraj Gupta contributes a dozen prints that highlight unique cultural elements from neighborhoods across Toronto.
We also selected Sketch, a studio that works with marginalized young artists in Toronto, to conduct a mock RFP process that inspired 10 applications and the ultimate selection of a mural from artist Brian Jiang.
In its totality and vision, LinkedIn’s Toronto HQ is a bold, beautiful, and vibrant celebration of its company culture, its home city, and the future of work.