Office Space: Check out this Vancouver ad agency’s swanky Fairview digs

Advertising house Me&Lewis wants employees to feel at home

House Rules

Advertising firm Me&Lewis designed its Vancouver headquarters to feel like a home

Me&Lewis Ideas Inc. is a Vancouver advertising agency with a twist, starting with its name. “Me&” is a play on Meehan, surname of creative strategist Paul Meehan, who co-founded the company in 2007 with senior creative director Jeff Lewis.


Personal Taste
A lover of art and music, co-founder Paul Meehan displays his guitars on the wall of his office, which also contains his classic stereo and vinyl-record collection

The firm, whose clients range from Miller Brewing Co. and distillers William Grant & Sons Ltd. to Vancouver International Airport and White Spot Ltd., originally occupied a 100-year-old house in Kitsilano. “Eighty per cent of clients loved it, and 20 were like, ‘Oh, you’re in a house,’ and they didn’t quite get it,” Meehan recalls.


Centre Stage
The living room is on a plinth that can be removed to install a staircase when the company expands to the lower level, now tenanted

Three years ago, Me&Lewis purchased its current headquarters, a 10,000-square-foot midcentury low-rise at the corner of Oak Street and Seventh Avenue in Fairview Slopes. Twenty-four of the 40 employees work there; the company also has offices in Toronto (in a renovated house) and London, England.


Old School
Instead of today’s ubiquitous whiteboards, the two meeting rooms—one called Me, the other Lewis—have blackboards

“The hard part was finding a space that kept that house feel and was a little different than moving into an office building or even just renting a space in Gastown,” says Meehan’s wife, Melissa, who oversaw the building’s renovation. “We really wanted to figure out how we make it not so quote-unquote office.”


Hospitality Suite
Designed for entertaining, the bar and kitchen are side by side right next to the entrance

Because the former textile warehouse is built into the hill and the ground floor is tenanted, the entrance to the second-floor Me&Lewis office is off the lane. Just inside the door are the kitchen, bar and living room, with a row of desks next to the windows overlooking Oak Street. “In the old space there was the kitchen, and when it was small beginnings everyone would sit down for lunch, and we’ve really kept that tradition alive,” Melissa explains. “We tried to put the energy and effort into creating good bones and a comfortable atmosphere so we can host events, have parties and keep that home atmosphere.”