Silicon valley is known for amazing and visually stunning workspaces that reflect the nature of today’s creative, high-energy workplace. Some are bringing the outdoors in, with courtyards, garden gnomes, or structures made of timber, while others rely on a minimalist designed that focuses on concrete and restructured glass. Within these offices are inventive, Technicolor conference rooms, spacious rooftop gardens, cozy nap nooks, and an indoor fire pit. But we didn’t select these offices as the best in the valley simply for their sweet amenities or hip aesthetics. They also are cleverly designed to serve not just any company, but instead to fit the unique working habits of the particular employees who use the space. If there’s an overarching trend in office design this year, it’s customization
Time for a visit to Mumbai? How about Shanghai? For employees based in Airbnb’s newly expanded in Silicon Valley, such a trek requires going no further than a decked-out conference room or café corner. Each room is decorated to resemble a real Airbnb listing. Minimalism may be having a moment, but the Airbnb office scoffs at it. Great attention has been paid to myriad details in every corner of the 96-year-old former warehouse in valley’s startup-saturated neighborhood. They are also used to pulling super-long hours in the office. “We spend the majority of our lives at work,” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia told Metropolis magazine. “Why wouldn’t it be as comfortable or as inspiring as your own home?”
The only tech company with a collection of candy outside its walls, a stop on Google’s campus means you can take a photo with any of its Android collection figurines. (Hint: the newest one is a marshmallow). You can even walk over its “Google Gate Bridge,” which connects buildings on campus, although you can’t sneak in for a free lunch inside the Googleplex unless an employee gives you a tour.
In 1934 to friends Bill and Dave begin part-time work in a rented garage with $538 (U.S.) in working capital, consisting of cash and a used drill press. Many years later this famous garage still remains as a reminder of Silicon Valley’s humble beginnings. The HP Garage is a private museum where the company Hewlett-Packard (HP) was founded. It is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California. It is considered to be the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” It is a designated California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The simple design and historical value makes it one of our top pick and a desirable spot to visit for the nostaglia of it all.
After its successful IPO, Twitter is the hottest tech company right now. Twitter envisioned a space that accommodates movement, where people can find quiet spaces to work or flock together for informal meetings, that feels spacious, without heavy furniture or fixtures. The open spaces are configurable for gatherings or intermittent collaborations. A lightweight bird theme (found in small touches throughout the building, including original art) reinforces the idea of Twitter: an open platform that encourages flying solo and flocking.
In one of the most unusual workspaces, Github in Silicon Valley has an Oval Office replica for a lobby. The space includes an indoor picnic area complete with lights strung from the rafters, a ‘speakeasy’ bar concealed behind a wood paneled wall, an unapologetically glam ladies lounge of Wearstler proportions, and rows of ‘caves’ where workers can tune out their surroundings in order to focus on the project at hand.
Box’s office in Palo Alto has a lot of fun things, including a slippery slide, sports room and a blue room. It’s clearly following the Silicon Valley office trend where brightly colored offices look like an amusement park or perhaps a night club. What’s behind all the fun? A Box spokesperson says the company culture can be summed up by its motto “bring your fun, wacky self to work.
One of the most interesting workspaces is Dropbox’s music room in its San Francisco offices. Speaking about the office’s’ overall look and feel, Dropbox’s office reflects the product, simple and functional with a focus on design. It’s not unusual to see team members riding skateboards through the halls covered in greenery and subtle Dropbox embellishments. There is a music room with a grand piano, and Legos can be found in conference rooms to inspire creativity.
At first sight one ask “what’s behind the office design?” And the results determine a building filled with a mix of inviting furniture, earthy/industrial elements, bold pops of color, and irresistible kitsch. In keeping with the company’s focus on discovery of the Web, rooms are accessorized with items related to famous scientists and their discoveries.
Asana, one of the highlights of the tech firm industry that makes a Web-based project management tool, is built to grow — all the furniture is movable. Asana also takes its name from Sanskrit, meaning “easeful posture.” The design of the space balances comfort and efficient communication. There is a lot of open spaces, but also plenty of smaller, comfortable places to work or relax.
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