WORLDWIDEWORKPLACES – Lightspeed (ACDF Architecture)


WorldWideWorkplaces is where we take a look at some of the best examples of office design from across the globe.

Lightspeed headquarters – Montreal

When Lightspeed, the point-of-sale software company, were searching for a new place for their global headquarters, they couldn’t help but see the potential that lay in an abandoned hotel and train station, Place Viger, that had fallen into disrepair.

Taking over three floors within this abandoned building, Lightspeed, working with local firm ACDF Architecture, had ample space to create something truly special. The exposed timber beams and bricks of the building sparked the inspiration for the office design, and Lightspeed were keen to incorporate these weathered elements into the final space.

Lightspeed 5

A relatively muted colour palette made the architecture the focal point of the design. This, combined with the industrial feel of exposed brick, wood beams and polished concrete floors gave the office a modern, contemporary feel.

Lightspeed 1

To juxtapose the fact that the period and industrial features were the focal points of the office design, ACDF created an impressive, innovative anamorphic logo in the reception area. Elongated from one perspective but perfectly in proportion from another, the video below explains exactly how it works.

Anamorphic Logo: Reception desk at Lightspeed_acdf architecture from ACDF architecture on Vimeo.

As well as reflecting the history of the building into the design, Lightspeed were keen to incorporate their own personal history into the new office space. With this in mind, ACDF paid homage to Lightspeed’s past by basing the design of their communal kitchen on the backyard pool from their previous offices.


Understanding the introvert’s need for privacy and space, ACDF specified stand-alone brightly-coloured ‘cabanas’ in the communal areas. These also double up as spaces for semi-private meetings.

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Ironically, one of the biggest challenges faced by ACDF was safely retaining the weathered condition of the building. Rather than just leaving these elements exposed, they had to ensure that the floor was fire resistant and the exposed beams structurally safe.


With so many employees and branches located worldwide, it was important that Lightspeed found a way to encourage communication and keep everyone up-to-date with what was going on in the company. To achieve this, Lightspeed embraced the Internet of Things (IOT) in the workplace and allowed ACDF to hang monitors on several walls. These monitors display real-time data relevant to each team’s specific job, whether it’s paid search traffic or customer-satisfaction rankings.


The design also reflected the experience and journey of Lightspeed’s customers, staff being situated at different points to replicate the way customers would deal with them. The marketing team begin the process at the top of the room and customer support completes it, seated at the other end of the long hallway.

Lightspeed now have plans to expand the space, with talk of an amphitheatre and patio area, complete with barbecues and hot tubs!

We can’t wait to see what the next phase brings to this impressive office fit out.

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