Pendennis Building Perfectly Poised to be one of Edmonton’s Most Sought After Post-Pandemic Office Spaces

With its abundance of natural light and its historic yet modern architecture – the owners of the Pendennis Building have always known it would make an incredible office environment. But it wasn’t till this week that they got to see the building’s full potential with their own eyes.

RGO Edmonton and Steelcase have staged the Pendennis Building with its innovative and state of the art office vignettes to show the Edmonton business community what the offices of a post-pandemic world look like through its WorkBetterLab pop-up design event. 

“They have taken this raw building and just turned it into a one-of-a-kind office space. They  really have used all the design elements of its historic brick, its open concept and it’s immense light, and really shown the city’s business community just what a privilege it would be to work in a space like the Pendennis, says Ed Cyrankiewicz, the co-owner of the Pendennis Building.

RGO Edmonton and Steelcase are the leaders in office research, furniture solutions, culture and wellbeing. They have opened a prototype workplace of the future called WorkBetterLab Edmonton. The WorkBetterLab has toured North America and is in Edmonton before heading to Vancouver. 

When Ken and Bianca Barry with RGO were looking for a building to host WorkBetterLab Edmonton, they knew the second they walked into the Pendennis that this was the building to showcase what the office environment of the future will look like. 

“I was very surprised that this beautiful history and architecture is even in our city.  I think like a lot of people I didn’t realize that it was even here. The location and its river valley views – it’s just breathtaking. So when we went through it, and saw the different spaces, we realized – wow this would be great for our pop-up and we are loving the building, “ says Ken Barry with RGO Edmonton. 

With the majority of workers spending over 2 years working from home, the world of work will be forever changed by the pandemic. RGO says workers want and need innovative office solutions and working environments, if they are to return to the office. They’ve designed post-pandemic office spaces that will not only earn workers commute, but can check all the boxes that workers are looking for in an office environment. 

“The top 2 things that Canadians want when they come back to the office, is access to private areas and high performing collaboration spaces,” says Bianca Barry with RGO. Steelcase, our manufacturing partner, did a global research study and they interviewed over 57, 000 people, and found Canadians returning to the office want access to private areas so they can take private phone calls and get focus work done. And on the flip side, in this hybrid world, they need high performing spaces, so no matter where you are, co-located or joining from zoom, you are still just as equally engaged and involved in the work.”

Bianca Barry says their WorkBetterLab is trying to marry both worker requirements. She says the Pendennis Building was the perfect canvas to create both intimate and private spaces with all the wide open spaces needed to promote collaboration and togetherness. 

“It was a perfect fit. We loved that it was a raw space. We loved that we are the first ones to be able to bring our vision to life in this space, and it allowed us to show that you can have a lot of different spaces in the office without having physical walls. So we have lots of different ways to create boundaries in an open concept, whether that is visual privacy, acoustic privacy, or just psychological safety and privacy in the office, it’s all here in the open concept of the Pendennis.

The versatility of the Pendennis Building perfectly positions the building to be a revolutionary office space for anyone looking to provide office workers with everything they would ever want in an office space. With tonnes of light and an abundance of both break-out and private focus space, the building could not provide a better environment to ignite work creativity & inspiration while also being a safe welcoming space for anyone looking to leave the home office environment.

The WorkBetterLab design event is open from June 13 – July 22, and is a pop-up experience designed to help organizations understand workers’ changing needs and how to attract them back to the office in a post-pandemic world. 

The WorkBetterLab is open by appointment only to any business or organization looking to tour the office vignettes. So far, several businesses have toured the space and the reaction has been one of surprise and excitement. 

“Everybody is wowed,” says Bianca Barry of people’s reactions to the Pendennis Building. “There is surprise that this historical building is in the city. Most of the public have not really seen the inside of it yet – and so when they come in, they are amazed by the scope of it , how large it is, and how Pendennis Developments, have been able to keep the historical look and feel of the building while still making it so modern and beautiful. We are feeling very lucky to be able to host this event here and to show it to Edmonton.”

To book your appointment to tour the WorkBetterLab visit

To book a tour of the full Pendennis Building email