Did you know that in addition to building the best network in the country we also do art installations? If not, keep reading because it’s a pretty cool story. Let’s time travel back to early 2020…
Beanfield had just acquired OpenFace and we knew we needed to expand our network in Montreal. As you know, we design our network architecture in such a way that a “mesh” is created. We do this to ensure resilience and multiple methods of moving our customer’s data around – uninterrupted. If one section has a failure, it gets automatically re-routed in the blink of an eye and the customer doesn’t even notice. This is why we seldom have impactful outages (kudos to Network Design!!).
In Montreal this mesh wasn’t yet in place so we needed to find some new NPOP locations (Neighbourhood Point of Presence). We began the search in earnest and, over the course of the next year found a great location, about 8 km directly north of our Montreal office on Saint Laurent. This was the state of the space when it was visited.
Needless to say, it left something to be desired – but we knew it was ideally situated and had the infrastructure to make it work. The Property Contracts team spent the next year negotiating a lease for this large space while designs for the NPOP were drafted and equipment secured. Finally, in 2021, the NPOP was turned up and now looks like this.
In a word, beautiful. Now, normally, we would be done and that would be that. But there was a little niggle about the entrance to the space that wasn’t quite…perfect.
As you can see in the top pictures, there was a glass wall that looked into the space – which isn’t ideal when you’re installing sensitive equipment you don’t want people to touch. To prevent this, and as you can see in the other above photo, a wall was created that separated our equipment from public view. While this solved one problem, it also meant that there was now this barren white wall and door behind glass for seemingly no reason.
One of the wonderful things about Montreal is its public art and spaces. They invite people to participate and often exist without any explanation. The art just IS and invites you to have a conversation with yourself about why that might be or what it might evoke in you as you pass. Embracing this cultural notion, a plan was devised to enhance this empty space to make it fun, intriguing and VERY Beanfield. While there were a lot of iterations along the way (murals, old tube TV’s) here is the final result.
Extra cool. To achieve this level of symmetry our team had to execute to the millimeter and consider lighting, the POV of those passing, the asymmetry of the walls and ceiling and how the phones were not all in pristine condition. Thinking through those details is what makes the end result look effortless.
Like everything we do here, we want to do it beautifully, thoughtfully and in a way that speaks to our values. In creating this little, unnamed but artistic installation that tenants walk by on a daily basis, we brought a bit of whimsy to an otherwise drab and boring space. By thinking not just about our needs, but the needs of those we interact with, even indirectly, we’re contributing to the daily life of those tenants and making their work community a better place. That’s How It Should Be.