JOIN THE CONVERSATION
  HOME       LOGIN      CONTACT
 

11/26/2013

Automattic | Wordpress Office

Baran Studio Architects | San Francisco, CA

Photography by Scott Hargis

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/1213/Article_Images/I_1213_Web_EdCh_7.jpg

    The Automattic office space features raw elements including plywood, concrete and metal to create a sense of historic charm, while providing an ultra-modern technological solution flexible enough to connect hundreds of employees at a moment's notice. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/1213/Article_Images/I_1213_Web_EdCh_8.jpg

    The Automattic office space features raw elements including plywood, concrete and metal to create a sense of historic charm, while providing an ultra-modern technological solution flexible enough to connect hundreds of employees at a moment's notice. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/1213/Article_Images/I_1213_Web_EdCh_9.jpg

    The Automattic office space features raw elements including plywood, concrete and metal to create a sense of historic charm, while providing an ultra-modern technological solution flexible enough to connect hundreds of employees at a moment's notice. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/1213/Article_Images/I_1213_Web_EdCh_10.jpg

    The Automattic office space features raw elements including plywood, concrete and metal to create a sense of historic charm, while providing an ultra-modern technological solution flexible enough to connect hundreds of employees at a moment's notice. View larger

Flexibility is more than just a product feature for Silicon Valley superstars Automattic—it permeates every aspect of the company's culture. The tech firm behind web tools such as Wordpress and Polldaddy maintains a roster of nearly 200 employees, but its San Francisco headquarters is typically populated by only 15-20 of them on the average workday.

That's because they've implemented an atypical hiring model resulting in a team spread across 141 cities and 28 countries. With ample budget offered to employees for travel and a number of company-wide events that unite the full team, crafting Automattic's home base posed a unique challenge to designers: How to make an environment that's comfortable for 20 local employees, but capable of handling 10 times that?

"The design strategy was to strip down an existing warehouse to its essence, leaving structure and infrastructure exposed, and insert a simple adaptive 'sleeve' that would transform to serve various functions as it moved through the space," says Baran Studio Architects, who devised a strategy for Automattic's space called "Between 10 and 1,000."

They trenched the original concrete floors of the 15,000-square-foot warehouse and outfitted it with a power grid so workstations can be easily connected in any formation. The open workspace also features a game lounge, telecom room, library and a café that connects directly to the public right of way.

In addition to the overarching "plugged in" theme, the space's influences are as varied as the interests of Automattic's employees, who bear titles such as "Poet" and "Happiness Gardener." Some items on the list: technology, community, barns, recycled wood, rap and jazz music.

It's all held together by a clear vision to uphold the building's raw, historic charms. Ducts and plumbing are suspended and exposed; original windows were stripped and refinished; and metal, plywood and concrete elements run throughout.

Editors' Choice Projects of 2013
1 Novotel New York
By Stonehill & Taylor
New York City, NY
 
2 Cedar Rapids Public Library
By OPN Architects
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
3 Automattic | Wordpress Office
By Baran Studio Architects
San Francisco, CA
 
4 Farmers Fishers Bakers
By GrizForm Design Architects
Washington, D.C.
 
5 Cooley LLP Offices
By Gensler
Seattle, WA
 
6 National Public Radio Headquarters lobby
By Poulin+Morris
Washington, D.C.
The editors of Interiors & Sources took a look back at previous issues and picked out their favorite projects. Click here to see which ones they chose!
 

 
Noteworthy Design News
09/25/2014
09/25/2014
09/23/2014
09/23/2014
09/18/2014
comments powered by Disqus
©Copyright 2014 Stamats Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. / Interiors & Sources