Drive past it and you probably won’t think this is an office. The building is full of glass and surrounded by green. It looks bright and beautiful. And it is, in fact, the new office and factory for Smartmill. This company is changing the wood-processing industry.

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The side of an office building

Created by Atelier Guy Architects, SmartMill Head Office space is all timber, in keeping with the company’s vision. Smartmill makes automated systems for the wood processing industry, so wood is a pretty big deal around here.

Related: The Jakob Factory in Vietnam builds walls out of live plants

The interior pavilion of an office building

The building is a functioning factory and office building, but it also serves as a showcase for innovation. Additionally, it maintains a strong connection to nature. There’s an administration pavilion facing the street. The factory section connects to the backyard. The building itself is centered around a courtyard that’s full of greenery.

Everything is brightly lit. The administration section is topped with windows that offer a view of the exterior courtyard. The central staircase extends over two floors to provide access to every area of the space.

A factory industrial building

Furthermore, the factory space connects to the administrative section through the ground floor. It’s made with an arched roof thanks to long, curbing timber trusses that are glued-laminated. This was designed specifically to achieve the longest possible span without the use of interior columns. Moreover, it creates a huge open floor area with high ceilings tall enough for two overhead cranes to operate.

A study room with desks in different layers with a stair for each level

It’s a deceptively simple design that is really an engineering marvel. The top of the workshop has a long, horizontal window that brings light into the space. As for the exterior of the building, it’s clad in Eastern white cedar. This is a local material that’s highly durable and low-maintenance, not to mention renewable. This gives the walls a textured finish that creates a beautiful façade.

A yellow staircase that overlooks a wall of windows

Wood is used in a variety of ways in this timber building that truly honors the factory’s purpose and function. This is a case where form, function, design and sustainability all come together perfectly in a design that shows exactly how businesses can create healthy, happy and productive workplaces.

+ Atelier Guy Architectes

Photography by Charles O’Hara