Add Specialty Spaces to Your Commercial Project Design

Your commercial project may be a high-rise condo, a professional tower, a multi-level retirement complex, an educational building, or anything in between. What specialty spaces have you asked your architect to include in the design?

These spaces are the amenities that set your project apart from that of the competition.

What do we mean by specialty spaces? We’re talking about dedicated areas of function or purpose that add value to your commercial project and increase your ROI.

Review the four ideas below. You may find some that you love. Others may serve as springboards from which you invent your own creative iterations.

One: Consider Space for a Community Garden

Promote camaraderie, sustainability, and Vitamin D absorption (!) by integrating a community garden into your commercial design project.

Commercial projects located in rural or suburban areas will enjoy more access to land than will buildings in a city. But that doesn’t mean a city high-rise cannot have a community garden incorporated into its design. Your architect can figure that part out. (Maybe he or she will design the garden to fit on top of a roof or along a rear property easement.)

Consider what can be made possible for the users of your building by adding garden spaces into the design. Residents may find new friends. Retirees might enjoy an old (or new) hobby. Professionals may find delight in a lunchtime change of venue. Who knows, surprising interdepartmental connections may arise as teams plant gardens and enjoy communal harvests.

Two: Play Areas for Kids That Intrigue, Inspire, and Invite

After having children, parents find their personal and professional lives changed in so many ways—both expected and unexpected. Sometimes, surprising changes arise out of the dynamic of “play.”

Most parents associate younger children’s play with straightforward, informal recreation and fun. Stomping in puddles. Watching ants on a sidewalk. Kicking a ball. Stacking blocks. Playing “house.” It doesn’t take long, however, for parents to learn that simple forms of play contribute to children’s overall development in the areas of critical thinking, cognitive development, social and emotional intelligence, freedom of expression and creativity, and motor skill acquisition.

Support and attract young parents to your multi-story residential complex by designing safe play spaces for their children. Provide areas for parents to get their kids outside. Take on the responsibility of designing places that facilitate play, and you will retain young families, increasing your project’s ROI.

Consider adding to your project’s design:

  • Large concrete spheres of different sizes for climbing on (easy care, robust, theft-resistant)
  • Colorfully painted mini climbing walls
  • Splash pads (for kids up to age 12; no standing water, so no drowning risks)
  • Sandboxes
  • Playhouses
  • Wall-mounted plexiglass drawing squares
  • Mini obstacle courses with tires, low balance beam, slackline
  • Concrete pads for chalk drawing

Have your architect design this kind of kid-play specialty space and integrate it into your residential high-rise project. Yes, square footage may be at a premium. Put the play area on a rooftop. Or inside some “lost space.” Maybe around the edges of the structure.

Wherever your architect can integrate it into the project design, consider it an amenity that will boost ROI in setting your dwelling apart from others. Who knows, it may lend adults the “license” to play, too!

Three: How About a Rooftop Park?

Ask your commercial architect to explore adding a rooftop park to the design of your office building. This kind of accessible outdoor space would allow staff to get away from cubicles and boardrooms into a fresh, green, rejuvenating environment. It could also serve to keep team members onsite because going off-site for breaks and food is less attractive.


Like a giant single outdoor room–perhaps accommodating hundreds of people—a rooftop park could include:

  • walking paths for decompressing or exercising
  • sitting areas with white whiteboards (stored in weatherproof cabinets) for team meetings
  • food kiosks for employee breaks or lunches
  • coffee and smoothie stands
  • tents or courtyards for post-work social gatherings


Studies have shown time and again that this shift of workspace environment fuels productive collaborations–and thought-provoking creativity–while employees get a good dose of fresh air.


Provide a business tower that is distinct from its neighbors by having your architect put a rooftop park into its design.


Four: Areas That Promotes Health and Wellness

Many successful companies and institutions have figured out that facilitating employee wellbeing is not only a nice thing to do, but it also boosts productivity and workforce retention. Help future stakeholders by providing wellness spaces in your professional multi-story design.

Need convincing?

Employees with robust health (physical, mental, and emotional) are sick and absent less often than those with vulnerable health.  Some studies have reported an ROI as high as 162% within as few as three years of implementing employee wellness programs.

Have your architect plan spaces for wellness programs into the design of your project. Your professional building will attract businesses intentional about using these areas to promote the following in their employees:

  • increased motivation
  • improved focus & efficiency
  • better stress management and emotion regulation
  • faster setback recovery
  • enhanced problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • improved communication skills
  • higher creativity
  • measurable overall improvements in physical health


What should go into the design for the wellness space? An experienced architect will bring many ideas to the table for you to consider. Some of these ideas may include:

  • yoga floor
  • mini retreat center
  • meditation pods
  • massage station
  • IV vitamin therapy suite
  • Reading/music-listening cabanas
  • Fountain walls

Hire an Ottawa Commercial Architect to Plan Specialty Spaces

Rossmann Architecture is the best Ottawa commercial architect for developments ranging from residential high-rises to business towers to healthcare multi-stories. Our portfolio includes a comprehensive collection of design projects, all of which have incorporated specialty spaces.


If you’re looking for a commercial architect in eastern Canada, call us at 819-600-1555. We’ll get a consultation scheduled to see how we can meet your needs and to determine if we are a good fit for your commercial project.