Manulife Head Office Renovations
Manulife Canada recently embarked on a mission to foster collaboration and enhance workspace flexibility by renovating their head office in Waterloo. A team of design and construction experts, led by Martin Simmons Sweers Architects, were brought together to bring Manulife’s vision to life and each floor of the five-storey office building was renovated to achieve a modern atmosphere.
The exterior amenities have been expanded and revitalized, featuring a new staff drop-off zone, a revamped sidewalk, driveway, parking and planters, and a stunning exterior terrace with a pathway and gathering spots, unlike anything else in the city.
The terrace and walkway are situated above a dry stormwater management pond and natural area which presented some unique challenges for our team. To minimize the disruption of the natural landscape and avoid major excavation near the pond’s inlet and outlet infrastructures, we used special foundations called helical pile (or screw pile) foundations to support the steel structure for the walkway and gathering pods.
The steel structure is topped with Ipe wood planks, which were individually cut and shaped to create the curvilinear walkway and pod structures. After the construction was completed, the area was planted with native species that can withstand the wet and dry conditions of the pond.