Written by Shayla Mars | Original Post shared from the Hightower Blog
Gone are the days of box-like office cubicles and worn water coolers. You no longer have to bring your lunch to work and hide it in a mini-fridge or warm it up on a college dorm hot plate.
More and more companies are opting for open-floor plans, fully-stocked kitchens, and fun layouts that boost employee moral. However, they didn’t just stop at rows of desk next to each other. Here are 5 of the coolest offices in San Francisco that take open-floor plans to the next level.
Pantheon is located in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The company oversees website management platforms for some of the biggest names in hosting such as WordPress and IBM. According to Officelovin.com, their office is 12,000 square feet and was designed by Interior Monkey. 12,000 square feet isn’t much to work with for a growing tech office, so the designers honed in on capitalizing on the space by making good use of the two levels that had. They dispersed workstations throughout the floors so employees would have to move around. Pantheon has what appears to be “rustic phone booths,” but they were custom made pieces that utilize sound-proofing foam and white boards that slide on a partition.
AirBnB crafted a workspace that embodies the heart of the organization. The office is just moved to the South of Market district in 2015 where it encompasses a massive 225,000 square foot space. The building that houses AirBnB has a five-story atrium that already makes it an exclusive find. When AirBnb moved in, they use their own architect, construction crew, and designers to recreate the old office. AirBnb use the wide floor plates of 888 Brannan Street to construct areas that resemble different parts of the world (ie. the homes of their clients). The meeting rooms are camping tents and the cafe transports you to Mumbai. The actual workspace makes you feel as if you’re in an industrialized building in Johannesburg. Airbnb wants their employees to feel like their working beyond a building in San Francisco.
Invuity, maker of medical lights for the invasive surgical field, mixed modern with elegant creating a woodland motif for their Potrero Hill office. Making good use of their 36,000 square-foot loft space, the office is well-lit by natural light thanks for the industrial-size windows and 18 foot ceiling. One notable aspect of the office is the use of cubicles; however, these aren’t the typical plastic three-walls. The designer, Geremia Design, uses wood paneling to create a more cozy atmosphere. The high ceilings and drop lighting offsets any remnant of a boiler room. The carpet and plants round out the workspace.
Brick and Mortar Ventures
Building out a cool office space can be cumbersome when you’re a new company, but Brick and Mortar Ventures made the best of it. Brick and Mortar Ventures is VC firm in its early stage. Located in San Francisco’s SoMA district, their designer Blitz was able to turn 900 square feet into a translucent eden. By using vertical storage, wood, and lots of glass, Blitz produced a seamless concept with unobstructed views. This has enabled Brick and Mortar to provide their employees with the comfortability of a large office without skimping on the amenities.
Salesforce turned heads when they leased the 450,000-square-foot, 30-story skyscraper at 350 Mission Street in the South of Market (SoMa) district. The building is listed at the first Platinum LEED commercial highrise in the city. Each desk in the office comes with personal air controls and height-adjustable desks. Salesforce lobby is open to the public and has stair flight seating for talks. Feature amenities include a Michael Mina Restaurant and a rooftop garden. The most impressive piece in the office is a 3-story LED wall that displays art work by Refik Anadol or Salesforce twitter feed. It can be seen from the street.