Archello’s hub in Toronto
For European companies that want to step into the North American continent, Canada is an interesting option. Martijn Postmus, founder and director of Archello, knows this from personal experience. Recently, he moved to Toronto and started a second office there for his online architecture platform.
According to Forbes Magazine, Canada is among the world’s top ten countries for doing business. The country has a high-tech industry, skilled workforce and relatively low cost of living. Moreover, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto always score high in the international index regarding the best places to live.
In addition, Toronto is the business centre of Canada, with a financial services sector that is among the fastest growing sectors of North America. The city is, right after New York, recognized as the North American city of the future. Toronto and its region are responsible for 19 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product. The city has almost three million residents – twice that number when looking at the Greater Toronto Area – and is growing rapidly. “There is large-scale construction and investment,” says Postmus. “And the end thereof is not in sight.”
A city to live
Archello likes to be in such an environment; a city where a lot of construction takes place. Interesting things happen and there are important contacts walking around. Postmus: “In such a place, we are right in the middle of things.” The company is not the only one that has settled in Toronto. “By now, there are many Dutch companies here”, he says. “It is also nice to work here, since the mentality is business oriented, but relaxed.”
The quality of life also makes Toronto an attractive city. “People like to live here”, says Postmus. “It’s a metropolis full of festivals, situated at a beautiful lake and with natural parks in the area. Mountains with ski resorts are within a few hours drive away; other interesting cities are easily reachable too.”
Toronto is not just a creative and financial centre. The city is also a geographical center. It is located about an hour’s flight away from the other major metropolis in North America, New York, while of course also the rest of the continent is relatively easy to fly to. Toronto is an interesting springboard to the United States. That also goes for Archello and European parties that work together with the networking site.
Archello conversely, with its concepts and European collaborations, is an interesting organization for the Canadian architectural and construction industry.
This networking site has an advantage because it introduces concepts with which it has a lot of experience in Europe, but that the North American market is not yet as familiar with. Archello wants to keep working with that advantage, with the European contacts it already has.
Archello has formed an extensive partnership with a big advantage for the visitors of the international editions of ARCHITECT@WORK. All exhibited products from each and every show are presented in the online product directory in one comprehensive overview, as well as on Archello. The main goal is to increase the reach of the product presentations tenfold.
Architects, interior designers and industry specifiers attending the international events are thus offered two platforms, with great outreach, where they can look back after each event and discover all exhibited products and brands in the online product directory and online at Archello.
ARCHITECT@WORK assigned Archello to represent the organization in North America. This way, both organizations strengthen their clout; they benefit from each other’s network and thus offer a complementary and more complete product together. After all, Archello provides a platform not only for the manufacturing industry, but also for architects, interior designers and engineers.
ARCHITECT@WORK provides for encounters in real life, where people can shake hands and feel the products and materials; Archello offers the complete information. “Under the name ‘How It’s Made’, the involved companies tell their story about a project”, Postmus explains. “The architect, the consultant and supplier can all tell a story from their perspective about a beautiful building they worked on. On the site you also find information about the products that were used in the project.”
©Marek Sikora photography
What also makes ARCHITECT@WORK interesting and distinctive in the Canadian market is the focus on innovation. “Instead of the size of the stand or the focus on bestsellers, ARCHITECT@WORK asks the exhibitors to present their latest products”, Postmus explains. “This enables them to let manufacturers and suppliers showcase their innovative strength.”
©Marek Sikora photography
The move to Canada fits the strategy of global expansion that Archello is following. The platform eventually wants to add a third office, in Asia, next to the ones in Amsterdam and Toronto. In addition to these offices there are agencies already in, for example, Chicago and Mexico City. “Concepts know no boundaries”, says Postmus. “A concept like Archello is applicable worldwide. We do refine it locally. We create country portals so that when you login from Germany or France, for example, you will initially see projects and products from your own country.”
If the concept is so international, then why do local branches and agencies? “An establishment is a commitment to the people. Everything can be exchanged via the internet, of course. But if you want to function as a team, you also need a physical place,” Postmus explains. “Canada is an interesting market, so I wanted to be present there. And I thought: if I want Archello to be physically in Toronto, then why not do it myself?”
For European suppliers the office in Toronto can also form a bridge towards North America. “I now have many contacts here, and I think it’s great to connect people with ambitions to each other. I can put companies that look for expansion here in contact with people”, says Postmus. “Of course you can also provide a stage for Archello. And do not be mistaken: Dutch people are seen here as valued and trusted partners. That is something you can build on.”