Leadley Advertising Office Building was designed for an advertising firm that provided primarily digital art for advertising with the occasional hand drawn assignment. The owner and longtime Windsor resident, Arthur Leadley, wanted to provide natural daylight to the occupied portions of the building for a general ambiance as well as for proper studio quality lighting for his more man made art projects. He also wanted to express his office building in the form and configuration of turn-of-the- century industrial buildings that were historically a part of the manufacturing industry which was so important to Windsor’s economic origins as Canada’s automobile capital.
This design objective was a challenge as it was in conflict with other criteria related to the need for computer screens to be free from glare and direct sunlight. In response a core open space was developed to serve as the “plant floor” that was recessed 4’-0” below the main entrance and surrounding private office floor level. The resulting grand volume of this space also has a higher ceiling that is drenched in natural light through the use of glazed clerestories oriented to face directly North in a saw-tooth roofing formation. This roof configuration not only controls the quality of natural light but it does so in an archetypical form of industrial roof monitors. These forms of which were practical for daylighting as well as ventilation of the unconditioned plant space. The centre sloped roof peak was extended beyond the square footprint of the main building to form a jewel-like glazed entrance.
Another established design philosophy was to provide the “democracy of views” to maintain a connection of the building occupants with changes in the weather and a sense of time and place throughout the work day. Having the ability to support and provide for visual connections to the surrounding exterior space meets an innate need we have to check out what is happening outside. Part of this draw to designing views to the outdoor spaces is presumed to be related to taking a break from work activities reassuring ourselves that all is well. Perimeter spaces were designed to provide views from the core side of the floor plan through to the perimeter private offices to the outdoors.
As fate would have it the advertising business found itself without their major client who supported 80% of their work. The building was put up for sale and was purchased to accommodate Glos Associates Inc.