THEORY OF EVOLUTION
Much like the Menkes family itself, Menkes Developments Ltd. has evolved over the generations. What
Murray Menkes started 70 years ago as a developer specializing in single-family homes, now includes
a vast array of multi-disciplinary projects that continue with his three sons Alan, Steven, and Peter, and
together they will usher in the next generation to sustain the Menkes legacy.
With headquarters located across the 12th and 14th floors of 4711 Yonge St. in North York, Menkes was
ready to reimagine the office environment, and with the help of Figure3, welcome a newly designed
space that reflects the company’s forward-thinking approach.
Figure3 Principal Suzanne Wilkinson notes “Menkes wanted to transition from a traditional layout, where
the perimeter offices and closed-off spaces felt dark and dated; we focused on maximizing light and
creating a cohesive, collaboration forward design with a nod to hospitality”
As staff and visitors exit the elevators on the 14th floor they are immediately welcomed into a warm and
open reception area. Concealed wooden doors allow for full access, with a guest lounge that unfolds
into a comfortable space to relax as you wait to be ushered in.
Elevated furniture pieces with fabrics soft to the touch are positioned on a custom carpet that
incorporates the signature Menkes blue. A work bar is located off to the side of the reception area and
allows for a variety of impromptu conversations with a casual energy that reflects the Menkes culture.
Floating planters on metal screens create a slightly whimsical edge and add to the layered approach.
To improve the organic collaboration opportunities, and provide more option for meeting spaces, a
coffee bar was installed on the 14th floor and a large café provides the perfect social hub on the 12th floor.
The cafe has a moody bistro feel with a mosaic marble inlay floor, ribbed felt acoustic panels in Menkes
blue, and harvest tables for communal dining; perfect for working, socializing, and celebrating. The space
features high contrast furnishings against pale wood walls and banquettes inspired by the Four Seasons
Hotel Toronto – a crown jewel development in the Menkes portfolio. A bulkhead clad in mirror spans the
entire perimeter and custom light fixtures give the space a glamorous, private club-like feel. “This new
environment, although fresh and modern has a sophisticated and warm feel that creates a welcoming
atmosphere for Menkes employees, their partners, and clients” says Creative Director, Tamara Rooks.
“One of the biggest design moments is the
dramatic wall that rises behind the quartz stairs
that sit just off the café and joins the 12th and
14th floors, creating a stunning visual and
/ Tamara Rooks
One of the biggest design moments is the dramatic wall that rises behind the quartz stairs that sit just
off the café and joins the 12th and 14th floors, creating a stunning visual and functional connection. The
Menkes family handpicked eight slabs of green-tinged Avocatus marble from Portugal which features a
highly energized veining throughout each panel – evoking images of butterflies, petals, and flying birds.
Threaded bars that serve as a railing on the 14th floor descend through to the 12th floor and create an
informal screen that separates the staircase from the café while maintaining an open feel. Natural
daylight filters throughout the space and biophilic elements, such as natural wood and plants, create
a balanced design between the different floorplates.
“Celebrating their longstanding success as a developer, is very important to Menkes” states Rooks,
“for example a model display on the 14th floor is not only a show piece for their developments
but it also illustrate how the Menkes story weaves into the city landscape.” The model sits alongside
the Menkes Story which is told as a series of images of key developments and their relation to the
city of Toronto. Curated works of art are featured throughout the space, highlighting Menkes deep
appreciation of art. The team worked with an art consultant to help curate the perfect collection
of Canadian artists.
“The transformation has been incredible” says Rooks, who notes that the last time she was at the
headquarters she witnessed many casual conversations throughout the office referencing how the
newly designed space has influenced the overall culture. Sean Menkes, Vice President, Office/Retail at
Menkes Developments notes, “Previously, our organization was spread over multiple floors throughout
the building, which negatively impacted collaboration. Today, whether formal or informal, each of our
divisions are collaborating more, and I’m sure this will pay dividends over decades to come with
an improved culture and continued success.”