Bay Area Tech Campus

Balancing performance, collaboration and community, this campus is designed so that innovation can occur at any moment.

The nature of how we work is ever-changing. The rapid evolution of workplace design over the past three decades and the massive disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to prioritize adaptability and long-term thinking. At the same time, we are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of social connection for well-being and creativity. In this Bay Area Tech Campus, together with Nash Hurley Architecture Studio and Devcon, we sought to combine these two ideas by creating a highly flexible space, organized around the core principle of social connection.

We designed a campus of four buildings arrayed around a communal courtyard and equipped the organization with the tools to adapt and reconfigure the space and programs over time.

The project effectively leverages and improves upon the design of the company's first ground-up building, which centered around the core principles of beauty and simplicity and aimed at promoting focus and productivity. Our four-building campus builds upon the lessons learned from the original building—improving the ability of employees to do focused work by limiting distractions, while also reimagining work as an intensely social production.

Our campus is arranged around a communal courtyard flanked by amenities and meeting spaces, with the idea that social interactions—ranging from planned meetings to informal, spontaneous encounters—collectively lead to a richer exchange of ideas and information. The workspaces similarly leverage shared collaborative space to foster creativity and productivity. These programs are carefully distributed throughout the buildings to enable these rich social interactions while limiting distractions from focused work, creating a continuum of experiences between "focus", "buffer" and "buzz" spaces.

Drawing from placemaking approaches to public space, the central courtyard and interstitial exterior spaces are the main communal asset shared by all employees. Through a variety of both social and work-related programs integrated into the landscape design, the courtyard serves as a town plaza, where the most visible "buzz" and activity are concentrated.

At the edges of the courtyard, the social program continues into the building through the cafes, event spaces, and fitness areas. Meeting spaces create a "buffer" zone between the amenities and the quieter workspace above.

Above, on the second floor, the four buildings are connected via bridges and pergola structures, creating a continuous circulation route that weaves indoors and outdoors together. This “Amenity Loop” includes pantries, lounge spaces and impromptu meeting rooms. The strategic adjacencies of these flexible spaces, specifically along circulation corridors, encourages the cross-pollination of ideas between teams and community-building throughout the campus.

With this wide variety of social spaces established, we developed an extensive family of interior finishes and furniture that imbues each area with a unique visual identity and sense of place. Each of the four buildings takes on a distinct color identity and is inspired by local geographic features, while the design of each floor reflects its program—from the vibrant, bustling ground floor to the quieter, more intimate spaces of the upper floors. The material palette, which emphasizes local makers and materials, evokes warmth and comfort, and is filled with details that reinforce the intimate scales of interaction that the overall design set out to encourage.

The bulk of the second floor is dedicated to the company's primary "focus" area—the workspace. Building on the client's past research into space optimization, productivity and employee well-being, our design celebrates the natural light and spacious feeling that a double-height open office can provide, while organizing it into a more intimate scale of team-sized areas.

Within each area, teams can choose from a suite of huddles, pods, and other power-integrated furniture (developed in collaboration with Steelcase) that can be combined and customized to accommodate their particular style of collaborative and focused work.

Understanding the challenges of working alongside so many other people in the same space, we designed each asset with privacy in mind, giving teams options for creating layers of visual and acoustic boundaries from neighboring teams and each other.

Long-term flexibility was also a major factor in developing this toolkit approach. In creating a movable system, we aimed to empower users to have agency over their environments, and offer the company a means of adapting their main focus space rather nimbly. Components such as powered guardrails and modular power sources reinforce this freedom of movement, ensuring that flexibility is feasible on an infrastructural level.

Construction began in 2020, and completion is expected in the spring of 2022.

Location

Sunnyvale, CA

Scope

Interior Architecture, FF&E Design

Completion

Expected 2022–23

Collaborators

Nash Hurley Architecture Studio, West 8, Devcon, Lighting Workshop, Applied Information Group