Posts tagged with "office":
To tackle the challenge of making four floors of a windowless 1970s data center reflect the contemporary culture of Square, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson organized the company’s headquarters around a central collaborative space punctuated by a library, a coffee bar, and a gallery—anchored by a monumental amphitheater staircase that itself functions as a flexible venue for a variety of activities. Custom white tables further enhance the stair’s visual appeal while encouraging dynamic use. The concept’s clean lines and predominantly white interiors reflect Square’s brand at both aesthetic and functional levels, successfully transforming the space while highlighting the company’s core values to create a refined, seamless experience.
Contractor BCCI BuildersStructural Engineer Tipping Structural Engineers Millworker San Francisco Millwork Lighting Manufacturer Vodes Custom Furniture Manufacturer Ohio Design
Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Pinterest Headquarters
Architect: IwamotoScott Architecture with Brereton Architects Location: San Francisco, CA
Inspired by the clean, simple, and intuitive ethos of Pinterest’s recent web platform redesign, IwamotoScott Architecture and Brereton Architects envisioned a concept of porous concentric layers wrapping a repurposed warehouse atrium.
Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Squarespace Global Headquarters
Architect: Architecture Plus Information (A+I) Location: New York, NY
To honor its client’s aesthetic commitment to minimalism, A+I sought to bring depth, texture, and warmth to the Squarespace headquarters in New York’s historic Maltz Building through a purposeful variety of spaces and the use of natural materials: polished concrete, wood, and leather.
Whether or not we’ve realized it, most of us have bought products through Square, a company that supplies small businesses with the now-ubiquitous square-shaped hardware and software that remotely processes credit card payments. Square’s new offices in San Francisco are meant to be as minimal, clear, and usable as its products.
Located in what was once a miserable, almost completely windowless Bank of America data center, the new 300,000-square-foot, fourth-floor office is just the opposite: an open, light-filled workspace organized by a central “boulevard,” lined with gathering spaces (including a library, gallery, and cafe), and a wide variety of working spaces, including bench-style work desks, tables, and semi-private, acoustically lined “work cabanas.”
To manage the space’s ridiculously big floor plates (100,000 square feet, four times the typical size), according to Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) principal Gregory Mottola, the firm studied urban precedents as varied as Dubrovnik and Milan, looking at everything from urban plazas to enclosed arcades. Unifying the office floors is a massive amphitheater stair that cuts through floors six, seven, and eight, and provides zones for individual work, group meetings, and large presentations. The stair is fitted with movable, lightweight powder-coated tables that snake their way down its length to create unique working and relaxing environments. Another office anchor is the eighth and ninth floor “Square Stair,” a floating switchback connecting the office floor to the main dining level.
“You’re giving up rentable floor area, but the payoff is you have these incredible group amenities,” said Mottola. “The key was this idea of creating a really collaborative, transparent company. You don’t want to have one place feel disconnected from the rest.”
Clean lines and lots of white (on steel panels, stretch-fabric ceiling panels, and drywalls) reflect the brand’s identity and lightens the mood, while salvaged wood elements, like the eucalyptus amphitheater stair, Plyboo cabanas, and end-grain woodblock flooring in the lobby, provide warmth and visual interest. Splashes of color demarcate important spaces, provide needed accents, and reflect the locale: Bright orange, for instance, recalls the Golden Gate Bridge, while blue shades evoke the nearby San Francisco Bay. The company installed new windows along the perimeters of the sixth, seventh, and eighth floors, drawing in natural light where there once had been none. Another big aspect of the design within a limited budget was lighting. BCJ employed a variety of techniques, from spear-shaped “light saber” LEDs above the boulevard to indirect lighting in the workstations and sculptural accent pendants in the lounge spaces.
“We tried to make the most of those dramatic moments when we could,” said Mottola, who noted that Square was drawn to BCJ’s clean work for Apple’s stores, but not its purely monochrome palette. As the company grows at an exponential rate, the airy, collaborative, and flexible spaces will no doubt come in handy. “We want them to be able to grow and shift over time,” he added.
Prescient’s new office in the Prudential 1 Tower in Chicago is exactly what you might expect from a high-tech global security firm’s office, and a bit of what you might not. Designed by Chicago-based Perkins+Will, the space is specifically designed to facilitate both human and technological collaborations.
Transparency may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a security firm, yet Prescient’s office is predominantly an open space: The main area of the office is filled with staggered standing desks, and there are glass-encased break-out areas around the periphery. Framed windows that once made up the former exterior facade of the building are now used as dividers and are specially coated to act as transparent dry-erase boards for impromptu conversations and meetings. Along with the open lunchroom and break areas, the entire space is specifically designed to encourage free interaction between all of the employees.
“We use elegant technology coupled with human analysis to identify and manage threats for our clients,” Prescient CEO David Walsh explained. “Our vision for the office was to be able to stand anywhere and take measure of the energy of an adaptable, team-oriented company in a space that fosters collaboration and transparency.”
Along with the spatial considerations of the office, material details play an important role in Perkins+Will’s design. At the entrance, a continuous line of fluorescent light fixtures guides visitors to the reception area. The linear lighting and corresponding linear detailing throughout the space is a nod to the movement of digital information. In addition to the extensive use of glass, steel and walnut make up much of the designed surfaces and furniture. Perkins+Will worked closely with small Chicago-based furniture maker Modified Originals on using an extensive amount of reclaimed wood for the custom furniture. Other custom components were designed by Perkins+Will and built by MTH Industries and Imperial Woodworking. The design called for exposing the ceiling and brick of the original 1955 modernist office tower to contrast with the clean lines of the new dark finishes. The result is a high-tech, loft-like space with expansive views of Millennium Park.
“The clients wanted to have a sleek modern office that communicated strength and stability, but still had a feeling of warmth and comfort,” Perkins+Will associate principal Eric J. Mersmann said. “This balance was achieved with the use of the hot-rolled steel panels and concrete floors combined with the liberal use of reclaimed wood paneling, reclaimed wood on the furniture, and pops of bright color in the casual furniture.”
Not all of the office is bright and open, though. Dedicated to Prescient Traveler, one the company’s main offerings, a hushed, dimly blue-lit amphitheater is dominated by a full-wall digital display of the world. Here, employees monitor international security issues 24 hours a day.
From the more serious Prescient Traveler space to the more casual and comfortable meeting areas, every part of the design is an aspect of Prescient’s new brand. The company specifically moved from the more suburban McLean, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., to this highly visible space in downtown Chicago to complete its new image. Not only does the space bring the company in closer contact to a bustling commercial center, its newly designed officealso plays a role in attracting the best young tech workers, who often expect to be able to live in an urban area. With their new office, those young tech workers can watch over clients while also enjoying one of the most envied views in the city.
ResourcesGeneral Contractor Clune Construction Project Management The 4M Group MEP Engineers Kent Consulting Engineers Custom Furniture Modified Originals Furniture Arper Lighting Metalumen Carpet Interface
Turning mirrors into ceilings, tables into flooring, and blinds into walls, Brooklyn-based design and development firm ASH NYC isn't playing by the standard rules of workspace design. Known for mixing chic interior design and property development, the firm exhibited Office Space at this year's Collective Design held in New York earlier this month.
Covering 1,250 square feet, their installation was situated in the VIP lounge and café at the fair featuring a 60 foot long modular table named Office Table that was made using reclaimed heart pinewood used for the new floors at the Whitney Museum.
Connecting the lounge to the cafe within the fair, the space was encapsulated by an extensive horizontal blind system that doubled up as walls. Also tracing the space's perimeter, an array of sculptural seating cubes—or Office Chairs—offered gathering spaces for visitors to the exhibit.
Keeping with furniture, ASH also produced a limited-edition WC4 chair that was available for purchase on-site. These chairs were interspersed within the vicinity alongside planting that offered a natural counter to the prefabricated space.
A dropped ceiling was also incorporated into the design, employing ceiling panels wrapped in reflective mylar to articulate space seldom—if at all seen in office environments.