Premise employs technology-focused approach with marketing for leading-edge Toronto office tower
31/01/14

Case Study by Kevin Hoch RGD, Creative Director at Premise

Set among a cluster of new generation buildings in downtown Toronto, 100 Adelaide Street West (100 ASW) required a unique approach to distinguish the location as a leading-edge office tower in the city. Working together with Oxford Properties, Premise created a design with unique technological elements to reach prospective tenants in new ways. 

 

Background

With over 20 years of experience working with commercial real estate companies, Premise has developed a strong reputation for success in this industry. We have worked with some of the largest real estate companies in the country and have developed over 400 comprehensive marketing projects including strategy, identity, leasing suites, brochures, websites, interactive presentations, advertising, events, and more. 

 

As part of 100 ASWs marketing initiative, Premise was asked to create a print brochure, design the leasing suite and create video presentation elements to help promote the location. From start to finish, this project took a total of 9 months to complete. 

 

Audience

This project was designed to reach prospective tenants by showcasing the unique elements of the building. In a larger sense, we were also hoping to reach the brokerage community and the business community as a whole.  

 

Design Process

Before developing the concept, it was important to understand what set this building apart from similar projects and what specific approach would be best suited for the audience we were trying to reach. To do this, we consulted with multiple industry partners: 

  • We worked with a writer with whom we had collaborated in the past who had a very good knowledge of commercial real estate and helped develop strategy and content for the project
  • An architect provided insight on environmental issues and assisted with space planning for the leasing suite 
  • High-end furniture manufacturers offered perspective on what type of space tenants would be looking for, the particular style and function that they would connect with
  • Developers helped work out the logistics of the presentation - our options for creating an interactive experience that would meet the needs of the project 

 

 

Print Brochure
The first piece we developed was a print brochure, which was used as a baseline for the designs that followed. The brochure was a simple 24 page perfect bound piece to serve as a “preview” for the business community of what the building would be.  

 

Taking cues from the building's architecture, the vertical solar shades and triangular facets of the building informed the major motif of the design. A platinum finish was called upon from the LEED® Platinum certification of the building. This print piece set the tone for the next element of the project - the much larger undertaking of designing the leasing suite. 

 

 

Leasing Suite 
Premise was tasked with designing a leasing suite for 100 ASW located in the ground floor lobby of 130 Adelaide Street West. A leasing suite is very similar to a condo presentation centre, but instead of residents, the end users are businesses who lease the space. Leasing suites are created for new office buildings so that potential tenants can get a sense of what is being built - usually showcasing a building model, floor plans, the vision of the property, amenities, etc.  

 

In this case, the 800 square foot space was small compared to a typical leasing suite for a building of this scale, meaning we needed to create a tiny giant of form and function. 

 

 

Working together with Oxford Properties, the goal was to develop a comfortable space that would encourage collaboration and group discussion. To serve its purpose as the official leasing suite for the building, the space needed to incorporate a few essential elements: a display wall, a building model and plenty of meeting areas. To add the 'wow' factor, we took the display wall to the next level with six HD screens facing a large, modern couch. 

 

 

Presentation 

For the displays, we worked with Oxford to create a video presentation that would capture the essence of the building and provide an interactive experience for prospective tenants. The user can control what appears on the screen using an iPad, moving from any point in the presentation with a simple tap - no more formulaic Powerpoints! 

 

 

We wanted to deliver a stunning experience that could be presented in 5, 10 or 30 minutes, as you never know how much time a prospect will have. Featuring insightful quotes from architects, engineers and other key individuals involved in the development of the building, the video highlights floor plans, office layouts and other elements that showcase the design philosophy of 100 ASW. 

 

 

Design Challenges

Completing this project was not an easy task. In addition to the collaborative work with Oxford Properties and its stakeholders, we also went through multiple stages of research when it came to executing the technological elements of the project. We had an idea for what we wanted the project to be, but before it could be executed we needed to understand the technology we were working with - its capabilities and its limitations. This is something that took a lot of experimentation and refinement before we reached the final stages. 

 

To address this challenge, we consulted AV experts to determine would be required in terms of physical media (monitors, audio, installation and equipment, etc.). Before reaching the final 6 screen with iPad set-up, we explored several prototypes to establish the best solution. In the end, rather than trying to rework the built-in screens (which weren't compatible with the 3x2 format we wanted), we created a custom design that connected all six monitors directly. This decision was the result of many support sessions and consultations with AV experts. 

 

As with most office tower projects which take a long time to complete, an incredible amount of patience was required for this project. Conversely, an incredible amount of speed and flexibility was also necessary, as timelines changed quickly based on market conditions.

 

Results

Within a few months, Oxford secured their anchor tenant for the building, and shortly thereafter the majority of the building was leased. All of this happened before a shovel had broken ground. The forward-thinking vision of Oxford Properties and its leasing team helped us build something special for them and introduced elements that will continue to benefit future projects. 

 

“Oxford initiated the marketing process of 100 ASW early in the planning of the building which meant that many aspects of the project were still fluid. The team at Premise was able to evolve with our vision and to deliver a design and content hierarchy that differentiated us in a crowded market and helped to simplify an otherwise complicated story. The simplicity of the design and the intuitive nature of the presentation served to provide our team with exactly the tools they needed to engage our stakeholders and build excitement in the building.” – Claire McIntyre,  Director, Marketing & Communications, Oxford Properties
 

 

Designer Takeaways

  1. Technology can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Don't be afraid to try something that you haven't done before, but recognize that trial and error will be a big part of the process. Make sure you have the time and resources you need to develop a strong understanding of the technology's capabilities and limitations.  
  2. Sometimes the best way to figure out a problem is to come at it from a new angle. If you're struggling with the execution of an idea and don't know how to reach the next step, don't be afraid to experiment and prototype. 
  3. Consistency is key for delivering content that will have an impact on the target audience. The first step in any project, especially one with many different components, is to establish a clear area of focus and build from there. 

 

Client Takeaways

  1. Don’t be afraid of technology. When used in the right way, it can enhance the important elements of a project and provide great opportunities to engage your audience. 
  2. Establishing a clear brief before beginning the design and production process will help keep things running smoothly. Reworking the concept after work has begun can cause a lot of problems -  it is important to make major decisions up front.   
  3. Be willing to take risks. Doing something new and different with a project is a great way to create something truly innovative. The solutions you find may well be applicable to future projects as well, helping provide a smoother and more efficient design process the next time around.  

 

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