This is a immense project… totaling 440,000 square feet. An enviable terrace adds another 3,000 for a true outside draw, weekends and holidays included. That’s the count for LinkedIn’s office in San Francisco, by Interior Architects.
Interior Architects design director Neil Schneider and director of environmental graphics Julie Maggos, were involved from the outset. Already under their belts were LinkedIn headquarters in nearby Mountain View as well as offices in Chicago, New York, Toronto, and São Paulo, Brazil. So the pair are undeniably steeped in the client culture.
But this latest project is no copy-and-paste job. “We did things we never did before,” Maggos says. This was her most extensive LinkedIn environmental graphics program yet.
They established a narrative:
The protagonist is San Francisco itself. “Every floor’s meeting rooms have a theme,” Schneider adds. For example, there are old-time bars, trendy coffee roasters, musicians, movies shot locally, and neighborhoods.
Ties to authors and poets take the form of quotes that appear on vinyl wall covering in one of the six libraries, where staffers can contribute a favorite book.
Since video games loom equally large in the urban culture, Interior Architects gave employees a way to channel their not-long-ago youth via a “pixel wall”: Rotate its multicolored cubes to re-create, say, the Pac-Man icon.
The city’s parks get their due with a wall of artificial turf, meant for posting selfies.
For office levels, Interior Architects devised four floor-plan types. Meeting rooms mostly hug the perimeters. Pantries, providing foosball tables in addition to snacks, appear on every other level. Wellness areas and support spaces pop up in different locations amid the height-adjustable workstations for the 2,800 staffers.
The lower three levels depart from that scenario. Reception is an expanse of white terrazzo, its coolness tempered by wooden paneling. Behind the desk rises a blackened-steel wall into which a huge map of the city is etched for tie-to-place. A company logo displayed on a video screen can morph to reflect current events and interests.
The above level is packed with perks. “Wellness was a particular concern,” Schneider says. Ergo the full gym, with its exercise studio, cardiovascular and weight machines, and locker rooms, plus private rooms for massages.
From the gym, a corridor connects to the multipurpose room, which can accommodate everything from all-hands meetings to client events.
Maggos used the corridor’s long sight lines to play a game with perception. To someone walking along, the blue letters and shapes painted on the walls, floor, and ceiling appear to be random. But stand on a particular spot, marked by a camera icon, and the jumble resolves itself into LinkedIn’s buzz phrase, “Focus on what matters.”
Taking over the entire third level is the cafeteria, where menus, global in scope, are offered gratis for breakfast, lunch, and the occasional dinner. However, that’s not all for food, wellness, and chillaxing. Meriting a separate shout-out are the amenities up on 17. A juice bar, the Pulse, serves restorative concoctions beneath a mural rendered in different shades of green moss, and a glassed-in corner lounge feels like it’s outside. Actual outdoors is available on the adjacent roof terrace, home to the branding pièce de résistance, a steel LinkedIn logo standing 4 feet high and 18 wide. The steel is perforated for graphic interest, sure, but also in deference to views extending all the way to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.´
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Written by: Bárbara Cruz