In the fall of 2014 Autovance leased a single office, a modest 150 sq. ft. space at an incubator in Lethbridge called tecconnect. A year later and we had grown from one person to three and we needed a bigger space, so we rented the office next to our first one which doubled the amount of space we had, but separated our team into two rooms. We then paid to have the wall removed between them, giving us a single wide open 300 square feet which, at the time, felt massive. Fast forward four years and seven more employees and in our final days at tecconnect we had ten of us crammed into four offices: it was time for some more room!
Here is a beautiful highlight reel of Autovance’s time at tecconnect:
Credits to Chris Rabl for this compilation.
The vision for our new space began over lunch between Autovance founder Rick and a few local real estate developers in the spring of 2017. They mentioned that they had two second-floor (1,400 sq. ft.) offices that they were motivated to sell. After lunch we did a walkthrough of the units and the rest is history.
The team began working on the space in December of 2017. Initially it was nothing more than two concrete shells, so our first order of business was to turn it from 2 x 1,400 into a single 2,800 sq. ft. space. We have a thing for tearing down walls here at Autovance.
We then set out to design something awesome; this is where the rest of Autovance began to get involved. Rick printed off 11“ x 19” sets of the building drawings (just an outline) and told everyone to draw a few lines where they thought we should have offices. He then met with them 36 hours later and the team had this to share:
Yep, a fully rendered design of what they thought it should look like. If you think you’re shocked, you should have seen the look on the builders’ face when Rick showed up with this the following week!
We could go on and on about why we did much of what we did, but in the end the pictures say everything. We were aiming for a set of open spaces that would draw our teams together from time to time, but also give them the separation they needed to be successful, and so far it feels like we’ve been pretty successful!
Oh, and there may be a few Autovance touches mixed in. See the gallery below: