Located just two hours away from its global headquarters in Washington State, Microsoft has opened a massive 142,000-square-foot office and development hub spanning the top two floors of Pacific Centre’s Nordstrom building at 725 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.
Up to 750 employees will work at the new Centre of Excellence, which effectively more than doubles the technology giant’s workforce presence in the city.
The space is meticulously designed by Los Angeles-based architect Clive Wilkinson and boasts the extensive use of wood, other earthly tones, and West Coast themes, including a large hallway-long mural of British Columbia’s mountains.
There are floor-to-ceiling windows on the perimeter of the building and the two inner atriums, which provide panoramic views of the city and mountains and allow natural light to pour in.
Both floors can be accessed seamlessly through a grand atrium with a main staircase that connects the levels. On the top floor by the entrance, workers and visitors have access to an in-house coffee shop operated by Vancouver’s 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. Several kitchen areas also provide employees with a never-ending of fresh fruit and a variety of drinks.
According to Microsoft, it spent $100 million on designing and building the state-of-the-art office.
Within this Pacific Centre building, formerly a Sears and Eatons department store, Microsoft occupies the top two floors. Sony Pictures Imageworks’ global headquarters also takes up another whole 74,000-square-foot floor plate below it, while Vancouver law firm Miller Thomson LLP is also another major tenant, occupying 48,000 square feet of a 70,000 square feet floor plate.
The entrance into these office spaces is located at the southwest corner of Granville and West Georgia streets, where there is a new glass cube lobby between the Pacific Centre building and TD Tower.
Microsoft President Brad Smith, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and a number of other dignitaries were at the new office space today to take part in the official grand opening.