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Univesta DIX30


INDESIGN / Conrath architecte, a firm renowned for its thoughtful projects combining architecture and interior design, proudly unveils its design of a 750m² satellite office for UNIVESTA, a leading Canadian insurance services provider. The office design, in the heart of the vibrant DIX30 commercial lifestyle community on Montreal’s South Shore, represents a true paradigm shift in its address of the essential components of inter-personal relationships in work environments in a post-pandemic world.

Beginning in 2021, the firm collaborated with the client to lay out the program requirements for creating an inspirational space for both UNIVESTA’s employees and clients. As COVID-19 ushered in an era of shifting mindsets and profound reconsideration of traditional workspaces, long-held beliefs about the necessity for large, centralized offices have been challenged. UNIVESTA, known for its innovative approaches, seized the moment to convert disruption into opportunity.

With a strong focus on spatial design and materiality, the INDESIGN / Conrath architecte team embarked on a concept that would entice employees to return to the UNIVESTA office, while also serving as an attractive addition to the company’s future recruitment efforts.

Strategic alignment

Created in 2006 as Canada’s first commercial lifestyle centre, the DIX30 commercial lifestyle community has grown to encompass 500 stores, services, and offices, and includes a state-of-the-art sports complex and a medical clinic. A new urban REM tramway has been added to provide extensive connectivity to and within the expanding area, underscoring the strategic value of the location.

Within that context, the UNIVESTA office sits atop a building housing an art performance centre. While the space is characterized by its high ceilings and views of the nearby Montreal skyline, the design team endeavored to reduce its internal vastness to a more intimate human scale. Key to that process, INDESIGN / Conrath architecte designed a central nucleus comprised of 50 workstations and a series of small meeting rooms. As a piece de resistance, the team introduced a vibrant 2m x 45m suspended graphic installation to harmoniously blend interior and exterior views, while creating a captivating near-far duality.

Well-being at its core

Beyond the mere functionality of the new office, UNIVESTA has positioned employee well-being at the core of the DIX30 project. As part of that initiative, the new design infuses a broader sense of shared community through the addition of elements including gathering rooms on the mezzanine level and an outdoor balcony, contributing to an overall balance that includes spaces for knowledge sharing, dining, group celebrations, and connections with nature.

Led by a talented design team including Jonathan Conrath, Veniamin Chukhovich, Gary Michael Conrath, and Martine Maksud, in collaboration with UNIVESTA project manager Eric de la Sablonnière, the project represents a bold step forward in reimagining the workplace, while reinforcing UNIVESTA’s commitment to providing employees with an inspiring and welcoming environment. The UNIVESTA DIX30 satellite office succeeds in its thoughtful balance of wellness and productivity, while its proximity and access to the greater DIX30 community of shops, services, and entertainment venues further contributes to its attractiveness.