Bold Color Makes a Splash In Vancouver


By The Sherwin-Williams Company

The color choices on both walls and floors helped to make Expedia's new British Columbia offices a showcase waterfront space in downtown Vancouver. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

The Project: A Nautical Theme with Stellar Sea Views

Expedia’s new corporate headquarters is turning heads in Western Canada’s largest city. First are the jaw-dropping views of Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet from the eighth and ninth floors of the Oceanic Plaza high-rise.

Next is the nautical motif. A reception desk shaped like a boat. Porthole-type windows on interior walls. A large sliding door inspired by a shipping container. Decorative hanging ropes. Signage made from rope cleats. And seaworthy paint colors designed to inspire creativity.

“The décor,” according to The Globe and Mail, “is meant to represent both Vancouver’s incredible geography and Expedia’s branding — with the office housing three of the growing company’s groups: Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Expedia Lodging and Expedia Worldwide Engineering.”

The Painter: A Commercial Real Estate Specialist

The painting contract was awarded to Olympic Painting, a Vancouver company led by Josh Owen. After running his own residential painting company, Pinnacle Painting, for seven years, Owen worked for three years in commercial real estate in Vancouver. Based on what he learned and the relationships he made in that field, he started Olympic Painting in 2014. One of the company’s specialties is painting office spaces in downtown Vancouver.

“The announcement of the new Expedia offices was big for Vancouver,” Owen says. “There aren’t a lot of corporate headquarters based here, and most of the jobs we do are in the 3,000- to 5,000-square-foot range.” By contrast, the Expedia offices cover 28,497 square feet. The project required the attention of Olympic’s full crew of 20 painters working simultaneously on two floors over two months.

The Paint: Smooth Brights and Whites

All walls on this interior job were coated with Opulence Interior Acrylic Latex (known as Cashmere Interior Latex in the U.S.).

According to Owen, the product’s silky, low-stipple appearance surpassed expectations. “Our crews love this paint,” Owen says. “It’s easy to use and offers a richer and smoother finish than traditional wall paint, especially with brighter colors and whites.” It is also scrubbable for easy cleaning and maintenance — another selling point for a busy office space.

The designer called for a mix of white walls with bold accent walls in Gecko, Georgian Bay, Rapture Blue, Briny and one custom match to a raspberry tint.

Doors and trim were painted with All Surface Enamel, chosen for its durability — ideal for doors, trim, windows and other areas subject to hard wear.

“This is our go-to coating for trim and doors,” Owen says. “It has great adhesion, even to bare metal, and dries hard so we don’t have to worry about scratching. It’s really a foolproof coating.”

The Floor Coatings: A Unique Color Statement

Three rooms in the Expedia offices stand out for their brightly colored floors. Olympic crews accomplished a great-looking finish and excellent protection with a water-based floor coating. Designed for use in commercial, industrial and residential floor applications, the less-than-50-grams-per-liter, water-based polyamine epoxy provided excellent chemical and abrasion resistance.

“Our crews found it very easy to apply,” Owen says.

The combination of color, design, and premium coatings has produced one spectacular space. The bold colors — Gecko, Rapture Blue and Briny — look brilliant and make a distinct impression on visitors to the office.

“This project,” Owen says, “has become the showpiece for both us and the general contractor. It’s the job we want everyone to see.”

*Claims or positions expressed by sponsoring authors do not necessarily reflect the views of TPC, Durability + Design or its editors.