I recently discovered a pretty neat food court downtown Ottawa. It has a waterfall, plenty of natural greenery and a huge skylight. Whoever designed this place really brought the outside in. You feel like you're outdoors. It's a nice place to have lunch. It must be really nice in the winter to have a little oasis like this so close to your office. And it looks like there are a lot of offices around. The view must be nice from up there too.
Or course I couldn't help but imagine ways to improve and modernize this space. Here's what I would do if I could get my hands on it :)
I love the huge sky light right above it. It reminds me of 1000 de la Gauchetiere in Montreal. There should be more office buildings with an indoor courtyard. I imagine the people working in such an environment must appreciate the natural surrounding, specially in the winter. Having natural lights and so many plants and trees can only be beneficial. It's very eco-friendly. In fact, commercial buildings get LEED points if they "provide the occupants with a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoors". I also like the flooring that looks like a deck. A portion of the seating area is right over the water feature and you can see the water running underneath.
1. Enhance the natural beauty
The blue tiles are not the best choice. Judging from their color and the design of the water feature, it was probably done in the 80s. The water feature also is a bit loud for the space. You have to talk louder in order for people to hear you. So I would replace the blues tiles by a natural stone like slate and I would reduce the speed of the water so that it would sound more like a stream as opposed to a waterfall.
Photo: Bourget Bros
2. Update the tables and chairs
The tables are way too low (probably 17 inches). People eating their lunch have to bend down to eat and it's not very good for their back. I would use table at a proper height (30 inches). Also the current chairs look like they belong to a plantation house as opposed to a building in the city.
I think the furniture should better reflect their environment and be more innovative. So I would use something a bit more modern and unique like the Miss Petra chair by MYYOUR. Their curvy shape would add to the natural feel of the place, soften it and give it interest. Imagine these white chairs against the lush greenery and slate wall in the background. They would look like white flowers in the middle of the forest.
photo : MYYOUR
3. Create an unobstructed view
Lastly I would replace the current metal railing (a bit too prison-like for me) by clear glass railing.