Airbnb is delighted to unveil 999 Brannan, a new office in San Francisco designed by Airbnb’s Environments Team with local architecture studio WRNS as architecture firm of record. The new space will form part of Airbnb’s US Headquarters alongside 888 Brannan.
This is the largest single project that the Environments Team has developed. They were able to strip the space down to its bare bones removing every non-structural element of the building, fundamentally changing the experience, circulation and material palette of the interior.
The challenge with this project was not to reinvent but instead to reveal the essential qualities of the building by emphasizing and articulating its core framework. The resulting design breaks free from the previous layout which blocked out all natural light. The new design focuses on harnessing light from the original glass structure.
999 Brannan’s design reflects Airbnb’s ‘Belong Anywhere’ ethos by incorporating elements of its global community into the design of the space. To do so the Environments Team looked to Airbnb Trips as an organizing principle, a completely new concept for Airbnb’s office design. Launched in November 2016 Airbnb Trips allows users to book bespoke experiences designed and led by local insiders.
The Environments Team translated this new feature into a physical space by assigning each floor to a different city: Buenos Aires, Kyoto, Jaipur and Amsterdam, styling each one of the floor’s cafes in relation to that city, the colour, patterns and materials reflecting the local culture. Additionally the interior design of each meeting room is inspired by existing Airbnb listings around the world to enable employees to travel throughout their day.
The Environments Team was exceptionally hands on with the design process creating bespoke furniture and curating every detail. Aaron Taylor Harvey, Airbnb Environments Executive Creative Director, explains “we wanted to bring the same bespoke nuance to this very large space that we brought to the first small office we designed in Portland. We want it to feel like a custom home to every inhabitant.”
Led by Aaron Taylor Harvey and Rachael Harvey, the team worked in collaboration with WRNS to implement the Airbnb neighbourhood concept and components into the space. Primary work spaces are divided into 16 neighbourhoods with identical components, for up to 50 people each. Every neighbourhood comprises of a desk space with large custom made communal tables and standing desks, three phone rooms, personal storage and a 15 to 30 person garage; a meeting room that can be adapted according to necessities by opening and closing a room divider with a garage door mechanism.
Other areas include: The Castle, made of pinewood strips at the centre of the building dramatizing the verticality of the atrium and the connectivity between floors. Above this sits The Boat, a highly functional office object offering on-demand privacy.
As part of Airbnb’s ongoing global office design strategy, The Environments Team engaged with local employees in an Employee Design Experience (EDX) programme to help add the finishing touches to the design of the meeting rooms. The EDX programme enabled employees to re-interpret design components from Airbnb listings into the meeting rooms as well as illustrate elements of San Francisco’s local identity.
One of the many inspirations for the meeting rooms was Solnechnogorsk, Russia: a cabin in the woods that is the perfect Moscow get-away. The cabin has pine clad walls with tapestries, pillows, books and games to keep you cosy while inside, and is surrounded by the forest and nearby ponds for outside activity. The EDX team sourced items from little Russia in San Francisco and New York to bring in fun prints (lots of Christmas cats) and character into the pillows and smaller accessories, as well as a local used-decorative iron stove that stands in the corner.
The variety of work configurations within neighbourhoods and secondary works spaces encourages healthy ergonomic movement, increased socialising and engagement. The Environments Team listened to the employee's suggestions and following these discussions incorporated additional spaces in the building including a boot camp space, yoga room/ wellness centre with a Zen Japanese theme and an “apothecary” of wellness related items.
“Branding of a space is often approached quite literally, ‘where do we put the logo, how big?’ However, we believe that offices should communicate to employees why they work and not where they work. Airbnb connects individuals from around the world through unique accommodations and experiences. It is a link to adventure, opportunity and global citizenship and we wanted to embody this in our offices. 999 Brannan takes the ideas we have explored in 888 and intensifies them into an immersive narrative experience that starts at the front door and ends on the 4th floor.”
999 Brannan, the new 14,000 sqm office in San Francisco, houses over 1000 staff, covering a range of teams from customer service to legal departments. The previous office at 888 Brannan continues to operate.
Having launched earlier this year, The Environments Team unveiled an exciting extension to their already established Portland office, led by the company’s in-house interior design team, Dina Dobkin and Rebecca Ruggles. Giving the office yet more character, the team worked to create a new reception and welcome area, a new large all hands space (in order to accommodate the growing number of employees including those who work in nearby offices), and finally additional meeting space for the 2nd and 3rd floors. The structural updates on this existing office has meant that there is far more collaborative space available throughout the building.
Working with local architects Bora, they ensured the key ethos and messaging of inclusiveness and ‘belonging’ was demonstrated throughout, whilst incorporating elements of local culture.
The Portland office was one of the original (and first) projects The Environment Team worked on, so working on the extension evoked nostalgia for the designers, taking them back to their roots. 999 Brannan was completed in July 2017.
The Portland Office extension was completed in April 2017.
Airbnb is delighted to unveil 999 Brannan, a new office in San Francisco designed by Airbnb’s Environments Team with local architecture studio WRNS as architecture firm of record. The new space will form part of Airbnb’s US Headquarters alongside 888 Brannan.This is the largest single project that the Environments Team has developed. They were able to strip the space down to its bare bones removing every non-structural element of the building, fundamentally changing the experience,...
- Year 2017
- Work finished in 2017
- Status Completed works
- Type Corporate Headquarters / Interior Design