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Strength in Natural Material Driving the Design of New Tomlinson Headquarters

February 3, 2017

For more than 60 years, Tomlinson has established a strong reputation for providing the very best products and services for their clients, so it was essential that the design for their new corporate headquarters was representative of the strong core values that have propelled them forward as construction and environmental leaders.

As a company of quality, we saw this as a perfect partnership for the Christopher Simmonds Architect team, and we were thrilled to be selected as the architect for their new headquarters, based in Ottawa. Covering 170 acres, the new site will be located at the intersection of Highway 416 and Strandherd Drive. A distinctive aesthetic, to arrive at the site and enter the building is to experience the strength of stone and earth on which Tomlinson is based. Tomlinson’s involvement in mineral extractions, earthworks and infrastructure were all a driving force behind the basis of the design, and the firm’s dedication to environmental responsibility is reflected in both the character of the building and the site.

Design inspiration was drawn from the local limestone outcrops, woodlands, fencerows and rural setting of the site. The building materials used demonstrate authenticity and strength – utilizing vast amounts of concrete, steel and glass. One very important theme that needed to be reflected was a sense of building community. Tomlinson wanted the development of the site and the building to reflect a strong community sharing an integrated working relationship. Much of the surrounding landscape was restored.

Building Community Through:

  • Inclusive and collaborative workplace for staff
  • Onsite gym and cafeteria
  • Visual connection of the various departments
  • Internal links between floors and functions
  • A “town square” setting for people to connect in both formal and casual ways
  • A naturalized landscape connecting the building and site to the wider network of greenways while concealing service and parking areas
  • Creation of distinctive pathways and entrances

Much of the building is underground – with the ground floor of the building embedded into the earth. The strength of stone and concrete is prominent and solid. The second floor will be level with the natural landscape and grants an immediate experience of nature at play.

There is no doubt the new Tomlinson headquarters will add to the current list of unique and distinctive landmarks in the region. The building will be LEED certified (a green building rating). Construction is now underway with a grand opening proposed for late 2017.

More renderings are available here.