Inside MasterCard’s Yorkville office, where not even the president has an office

Inside MasterCard’s Yorkville office, where not even the president has an office


What: MasterCard’s Toronto office
Where: The fifth and sixth floors of 121 Bloor Street East, at Bloor and Church
How big: 24,204 square feet for approximately 80 employees

MasterCard’s cheerful new workspace, designed by the San Francisco–based architecture firm Gensler, was built for casual collaboration. Case in point: The complete lack of private offices (even the company’s boisterous Canadian president, Brian Lang, sits at a cubicle near the windows). Plus, employees aren’t seated by department, which Lang says encourages them to leave their desks when they need to ask a co-worker a question. On breaks, staff hit up the sun-drenched kitchen, which is outfitted with a Foosball table and flat-screen TV (when we visited, it was showing Euro Cup matches). It’s a huge improvement from the company’s previous space, whose only communal area was a windowless room known by staff as “The Pit.”

Gensler worked with a Copenhagen-based Snedker Studio on the lacquered wood finish on the reception desk, which was hand-painted using a traditional marbling technique:


Here’s a closer look:


MasterCard recently hosted an office-wide Pac-Man competition, but this room is usually reserved for casual meetings. The mustard chairs recline fully:


Here’s the kitchen, complete with new walnut floors and a chalkboard wall for creative, MasterCard logo–themed Venn diagrams. This is also where Lang hosts team updates and events:


The chalkboard wall is also where staff keep track of important dates—recently, that meant Euro Cup matches:


This is the view from near Lang’s desk:


All meeting rooms are named after words that start with “in.” For example, this one’s called “vested,” so employees can schedule a meeting “in vested.” (Get it?) A high-tech room booking system beside each room’s door allows staff to see who’s secured the space and when:


The staff gave Lang this signed Star Wars–themed card when he was transferred to the office from the Middle East a year ago. He didn’t start on May 4th—but, luckily, he likes Star Wars:


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