Two below-grade levels, with a mezzanine, have been designed to accommodate building support spaces – the cafeteria, fitness center, mail room, and training rooms. Noting how important such spaces are to employee productivity, and capturing initial impressions of individuals who expressed concerns about perceived “subterranean” levels, the project team is working diligently to make an approach that will be inviting. The answer? An atrium that rises up into the lobby, bringing in light and air – a virtual oasis within the building, says Mancini, adding that approaches and exits, widths of corridors, escalators, lighting, outside visuals, and “soft” materials will help make this area a workday reprieve and a “must-go-to destination.” Presently, the team is searching out possible water and plant features to further sooth and refresh CIBC employees.
Traditional statements throughout the interior will be soft and elegant – but not ostentatious. Says Norton, “There are some firms that will build space that you go in and it takes your breath away – especially when you see the price tag. Our firm looks to be very practical. We want our spaces to be very nice, functional, and inviting, but when clients see it they shouldn’t think it cost a fortune and, consequently, will be reflected in the fees we charge.”
Traditional, according to Mancini, is also more in tune with CIBC’s type of business. It has staying power as well, he says, noting the interiors won’t get dated quickly. As such, the functionality of investment banks and their client functions requires a more traditional lay-out as well – with private offices along the building perimeter. Within areas that house non-revenue functions like technology and operations, however, offices will be situated on the interior, making light available throughout workstation areas and the general spaces.
Although Norton anticipates churn will be handled mainly through desktop moves, the team is planning its lighting scheme to be energy efficient, productive, and permanent. Raised floors in the Podium levels will accommodate the intense wiring/cabling requirements of trading and trade support functions, while general office and conference areas will be powered by fiber from the street and up through the building, then distributed horizontally through copper. Copper will do everything you can imagine without having to bring in fiber horizontally, and that’s a huge cost issue, according to CIBC’s Technology Department. Wireless communications, however, will be used sparingly in special locations, such as conference centers and executive areas – as long as it doesn’t affect functionality and create delays.