The Smart City Sandbox

  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Architect: IBI Group
  • Industry: Technology, Workplace
  • Photography: A-Frame Studio

IBI wanted to create a dynamic multi-purpose technology driven work space that promotes innovation and collaboration, different from their current offices. The IBI Smart City Sandbox creates a new environment that encourages idea incubation, development and acceleration to be shared by external partners and in house technology developers.

The Sandbox looks to transport users into an immersive environment, starting with the lite entry portal; a threshold through which users enter into the unique workplace experience. The intense black surfaces provide a dramatic backdrop for the technology experiences, contrasted by colour saturated “boxes”, rooms that provide both individual and group work space.

IBI was inspired by the start-up philosophy with the goal to provide flexibility and scalability of use for the Smart city Sandbox. The space consists of 3 different zones; a central collaboration area, a work area and the several coloured rooms within the space. The collaboration/community space is used for events and also encourages impromptu discussions and team meetings with its movable furniture, seated and counter height shared tables and portable tech screens. It also features a breakout den in the corner for more intimate and casual gatherings. The several colour saturated “boxes” throughout the space provide both large and small meeting rooms featuring different options for postures and seating. There are also “boxes” that offer heads down workspace for an individual to preform focused tasks or make a phone call. The Sandbox has over 80 seats for collaboration throughout. The work zone features 30 benching workstations for the visualization team adjacent to a zone for AV/VR presentations.

The space also features sensored technology throughout, allowing the environment to double as a Test Lab, for which IBI is developing programs to collect data and assist in experiential design. IBI has also created a Digital Twin of complete environment of the Smart City Sandbox which demonstrates IBI’s digital toolbox including how we can work to inform and assisting in managing the facility from the end user perspective. IBI plans to complete further expansion to the space and add an immersive design Model workshop along with 36 additional workstations to be completed later 2020.