From internet companies to software companies, San Francisco has made its name a staple in the tech industry, so it is only appropriate that their office spaces match their accomplishments. Here is Culture Trip’s guide to the coolest office spaces in San Francisco.
Airbnb is a website where customers can rent accommodation from local hosts all over the world. Airbnb’s headquarters in the SOMA district welcomes customers with a large atrium equipped with a green wall. Offices overlook this open space that can be used for meetings and events. Gensler, the designers of Airbnb’s 72,000 square foot office, worked with Airbnb to create spaces that reflect some of the company’s most popular listings. There is a Mexican log cabin meeting room—one of eight uniquely designed meetings rooms,—Cairo and Mumbai-inspired cafés, a movie-themed black boardroom, a shanghai loft and an Italian living room for employees to lounge in. In addition to the multiple kitchens offering three meals a day and snacks, all Airbnb employees receive a $2,000 stipend on all their Airbnb travels. The office is also dog-friendly and has regular employee theme days.
Three Ring’s Design Inc. is an online game development studio. Their first game, Puzzle Pirates, became available in 2003 and since 2011, the company became a part of SEGA games. Three Rings Design’s office space was fabricated and designed with a steampunk theme by Because We Can. The office contains a Victorian pool table, submarine silhouette dividers, portholes, a large octopus couch, and an engine themed bike room. Each desk is uniquely designed by an employee, yet all the desks were made with the same construction and so were easily fabricated and cost-efficient. The office is also equipped with a game room and a secret passageway behind a bookshelf to another room.
Located inside the 11-story Market Square building, Twitter is an online social media site where participants can post, read, and react with other users about sports, music, entertainment, etc. Designed by IA Interior Architects and Lundberg Design, Twitter’s office is equipped with a yoga studio, fitness room, two game rooms, and a large cafeteria that stretches out onto the rooftop garden. Twitter also contains a 30,000 square foot space called Runway, which is rented out by startup companies. These offices are rented by 400-square-foot floor sections or by desk. Runway is home to more than 200 entrepreneurs working on 80 startups. These companies can receive advice from mentors with more experience and have the opportunity—and the professional space—to meet with investors.
Buck O’Neill Builders, Inc. is a construction company specializing in homebuilding and remodel. Their 1,100 square foot office is an excellent example of their craftsmanship creating an air filtration system by use of a living wall. Buck O’Neill Builders have proven that the mundane cubicle can be transformed into something beautiful and eco-friendly. Recycled wood from previous Buck O’Neill projects was used to make the cubicles along with several other reclaimed materials to create this office space. There is no need for a central heating system since each employee can control the temperature from his or her desk. The office is being reviewed for LEED gold certification.
Dolby Laboratories is a company specializing in audio noise reduction, encoding and compression. Customers can experience Dolby sound in the theaters or at home with Dolby speakers. Dolby Labs’ office consists of recording studios for Dolby to create its products and a small cinema for employees to then test products. More office amenities include a fitness room, yoga room, café, and meditation room. Dolby Labs wouldn’t be complete though without its modern art pieces around the office like the wall of colorful ears designed and created by Because We Can—very fitting for an audio company.
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PCH International designs custom manufacturing solutions for all types of companies. PCH International helps develop, manufacture, package and distribute companies’ products. Designed by ChrDauer Architects, the 30,000 square foot office contains not just meeting rooms, but also a fully functioning engineering lab to build prototypes. Originally constructed in 1925 as a steel warehouse, the three-story building now has a modern interior. When customers first enter PCH, they are greeted by a large open space with stadium seating across from them. This amphitheater influenced seating serves not only as a casual work area for employees, but holds community events hosted by PCH. There is also an outdoor patio and table-tennis.
Square is a mobile payment company. Square’s most well-known product is a small white credit card reader that attaches to a smartphone or tablet. Needless to say, Square’s office has the technology to match such a successful startup; employees can use wireless robots to move around the office and attend meetings—a useful tool in the substantially large 100,000 square foot office. There’s a long indoor corridor that stretches from the building’s Market Street entrance to the Mission Street side of the building. On one side, there is a large boardroom and on the opposite end of the hallway, a library. Square’s office also has its own in-house restaurant, coffee shop, wellness center, and roof deck. Instead of having offices with windows, there are couches and other types of seating for everyone to enjoy the view.
Autodesk is a software company serving many industries such as architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, etc. Designed by Gensler with Autodesk’s own product, Revit, Autodesk’s office space is as sleek and sophisticated as their products. Customers first arrive in an atrium—which Autodesk’s three floors are designed around—used for large meetings or communal lounging. Adjacent is Autodesk’s previous building, which they were able to connect to via a short bridge. Colors, geometrical patterns, and moldings are strategically placed to highlight areas and visually guide people through the building. The office is also LEED platinum certified and uses several recycled materials such as wooden panels taken from palettes.
Looks like it's closedHours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
GitHub is a hosting website where customers can discover, share, and collaborate to improve their software. GitHub first started with a few employees coding in bars and coffee shops. When planning the office’s design aesthetic, GitHub wanted to keep the same startup feel of working in various places. Therefore, employees can choose what venue they want to work in each day: a library, 19th century lounge, an indoor park, ‘coder caves’ or dark rooms, several cafes, a museum, a vintage bar, or home. There is also a kitchen, multiple conference and phone rooms each with a different theme, a playground, meditation room, speakeasy, an oval office reception room, and a roof deck. A few shipping containers also provide work space since the site was once a railroad. Employees can even work from adjustable desks or communal tables on either a ‘quiet floor’ or a ‘conversation floor’ with music playing. The first floor, which holds the kitchen, bar, and presentation space, is available to startups or non-profits to utilize for meetings or events. Because GitHub is a coding company, it has several programming screens around the office like a screen that shows employees where people are located in the building by hacking the building’s wifi to see who’s connected.
Livefyre is a software company that provides user-generated content to promote and engage customers with their client’s brand and publishers such as Hallmark, Crayola, FedEx, Motorola, and more. Designed by Studio O+A, Livefyre’s office has a soundproof game room, a social media wall, ‘developer caves’ which are also soundproof, weekly happy hours, employee sports leagues, secret passageways, and a roof deck.