Projects | Feasibility Study | Habitat for Humanity 


Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region – Administrative Office


A Well Lit Habitat

This study offered a vision for a space filled with joy and excitement at all times of day and night



The offices of Habitat for Humanity enjoyed a two-storey space within the ReStore warehouse, where re-usable construction materials are sold. Renovations to the office space were designed knowing that a great variety of second hand materials were readily available to the client. The study proposes a new organisational flow, with a new central skylight to illuminate an open shared space, and doubles as the corporate branding space. The windowless meeting room is outfitted with a glass wall that takes advantage of the natural light from the front door and skylight. The workstations are organized in an open and shared space to support a co-operative culture, where information and knowledge are shared in day to day activities. The result is a flowing office space that is connected everywhere to the light filled, two storey central core.


Our Role:

Based on a study of the Habitat team and its needs, JMA designed a combination of open work areas for day-to-day collaboration, as well as closed offices and intimate meeting rooms. The design maximizes natural light by orienting work spaces to the windows along the exterior wall, with a new skylit central space. The relocated entry forms a welcoming lobby space and provides connection between the office and adjoining Re-Store.



By creating open work spaces and moving them to the exterior wall, the layout takes better advantage of existing natural light and creates an organised flow. Moving the entrance opened up the window wall to receive the work spaces, and eliminated the need for a dedicated reception function. This allows greeting of visitors from several work points, so the not-for-profit organization need not staff or a dedicated reception. This attention to the relation of layout to operating cost is integral to JMA’s approach to interior design.




Project Data

Feasibility Study




Waterloo, Ontario

145 m² (1,575 sq. ft.)

Study Completed 2013