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Calgary, CA
February 19, 2019

Inside Imperial Oil Limited’s 20-Acre Campus in Quarry Park

This LEED Gold certified office has its own cafeteria, a wellness centre and some seriously stunning light fixtures.

Photograph by Alana Willerton

Imperial Oil Limited

Where is it: 505 Quarry Park Blvd.

Office size: 830,000-square-feet over 20 acres

Number of employees and contractors: 2,200

Number of historical and modern-day gas pumps on display: 7

Downtown Calgary has long been a popular choice for companies opening new offices or looking to relocate their existing operations to a more central area. But when Imperial Oil Limited was debating the future of its downtown Calgary office a few years ago, it decided to go in the opposite direction — literally.

The integrated oil and gas company, which relocated its headquarters from Toronto to Calgary’s Fifth Avenue Place in 2005, decided to leave its downtown space to embrace a campus-style office in the suburbs of Quarry Park.

“It fit our aspirations for our corporate culture to be more community centric, to see things differently, and kind of be a leader in moving to the suburbs,” says commercial portfolio manager Catherine Teasdale, who was on the campus build project team.

The company started building its new office on a 20-acre site in Quarry Park in 2012, with staff moving in gradually from 2014 to 2016. Instead of one tall office tower, the new campus is comprised of five office buildings (plus a sixth building that holds its market and conference centre). A 750-foot corridor known as the “Pipeline” links the low-rise buildings, the lateral layout encouraging more staff interaction. Additional features like wireless phones, portable laptops and sections of unassigned desks (known as We3 neighbourhoods) give staff the flexibility to work and collaborate anywhere on the light-filled campus.

“We really wanted to create what we call ‘chance encounters’ or ‘collisions’ between people that might not see each other otherwise if you’re in a stacked downtown office environment,” says project manager Igor Halijagic, another member of the campus build project team.

The LEED Gold certified campus also has some impressive amenities for staff. In addition to cool features like the huge cafeteria, a wellness centre, a health clinic, an ergonomic lab, an IT solution centre and more, Imperial also pays tribute to its past by sprinkling items from the company’s history (think old gas pumps and Esso memorabilia) throughout the campus. They offer a fun nod to the past in a space that is designed for the future.

 

Take a look inside Imperial’s office

Imperial’s lobby is home to a Porsche 919 replica (a nod to Esso’s fuel partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing) and a bell from Imperial’s first tanker. It also features the first of many stunning light fixtures throughout the campus. This custom light features 880 LED light rods and was inspired by the Northern Lights. The light rods change colour to reflect different holidays, themes or the company’s colours. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Here’s a look at the Porsche 919 replica in the lobby. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

The Summit is the company’s conference centre, which features a mix of large and small conference rooms that are used for employee forums, workshops, meetings and more. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

A multi-purpose area within The Summit conference centre with another eye-catching chandelier. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

When the staff need a break or change of scenery, they can hang out in one of the 25 family rooms throughout the campus. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Like the family rooms, there are 25 kitchenettes across the campus’ five office buildings. Staff can help themselves to hot chocolate, coffee and tea in reusable mugs. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

The Think Tank is one of the 400 meeting rooms that staff can use around the campus. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Imperial’s staff don’t have to go far for lunch. The office’s 25,000-square-foot market features six stations where they can order different kinds of food. There’s a soup and salad bar and stations titled Deli, Mediterranean, Asian, International and Grille. There’s also a juice bar. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

The market’s accompanying seating area seats 400 people. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

There are seven gas pumps from the company’s history in the Pipeline (that’s what the staff call the corridors connecting the buildings). The pumps are in order from oldest to the model currently being used today. The green pump, a Gilbert and Barker T8 from 1908 to 1910, is the oldest of the bunch. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Staff often gather to play games of ping pong or foosball. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

The office’s Wellness Centre is available 24/7 and features workout equipment, locker rooms with showers and two fitness studios where staff can take group classes ranging from yoga to spin. Personal training sessions are also available. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

They’re covered in snow right now, but the office has a winter garden, a summer garden and a mini apple orchard with 23 trees. This half-court basketball court is in the summer garden. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Pipeline corridors like these are filled with tables, chairs and sofas where staff can collaborate, take a break or have lunch. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Part of the first completed building on the new campus, this room used to be Imperial’s entrance. Now called the West Link, it features a stunning chandelier inspired by chinook winds and rugs designed by artist Susan Point. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

There’s no need for staff to stop by Starbucks on their way into work — at The Hub, they can order Starbucks coffee (including espresso drinks like white chocolate mochas and caramel macchiatos) and 13 kinds of Tazo tea. There are also board games like Cribbage and Battleship. Photograph by Alana Willerton

 

Parkades aren’t usually a highlight at most offices, but Teasdale describes Imperial’s as “…the nicest parking garage I’ve ever been in and definitely the nicest parking garage in Calgary.” The heated parkade has wi-fi access, 60 plug-ins for electric cars and a bike cage. There are even shower and locker rooms in case you get sweaty during your bike ride in. Photograph by Alana Willerton


Do you have a suggestion for a Calgary office we should feature next? Tell us what makes the office space notable and, when possible, supply a few photographs for reference. Let us know.

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