Cisco offices by Studio O+A feature
wooden meeting pavilions

| 9 comments
 

Employees meet in octagonal timber gazebos at the San Francisco headquarters of technology company Cisco by local interior designers Studio O+A (+ slideshow).

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Studio O+A created the interior for Cisco's primary San Francisco workplace, after the company acquired WiFi firm Meraki in November 2012 and needed more space.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Located in the city's Mission Bay neighbourhood and overlooking the waterfront, the 110,000-square-foot office is split over two floors. It was designed to maximise daylight and provide communal areas based on feedback the designers received from staff.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

"O+A surveyed Meraki's employees to find out what they liked about their old, much smaller headquarters," said the designers. "A consensus emerged for natural light, plenty of collaboration space and preservation of the company's tightly-knit culture."

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Wood-frame pavilions that are partially enclosed with triangular panels provide intimate meeting spots and break up the large floor plate.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Timber-clad walls feature padded niches in which individuals can recline with their laptops.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Seating areas are sunk beneath floor-to-ceiling windows to prevent them blocking the light into the deep open-plan areas.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Giant whiteboards and blackboards give the employees opportunities to write and sketch ideas over the walls, while notes and memos can be pinned to cork panels.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Levels are connected by a wide open staircase, which has wooden stadium seating integrated at its base.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

The mix of flooring types includes carpet, wood and astroturf, and a varied palette of colours is used for walls and furniture.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Green electricity cables run up the white corridor walls and across the exposed concrete ceilings to power the overhead lights.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

The hallways are wide enough for workers to cycle or skateboard between zones.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

A large roof terrace provides views across San Francisco bay towards the baseball stadium, the Bay Bridge and downtown.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Studio O+A has designed offices for quite a few technology companies around California. The studio completed both Facebook and AOL's headquarters in Palo Alto, as well as the Silicon Valley HQ for Evernote.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Photographes are by Jasper Sanidad.

The text sent to us by Studio O+A follows:


Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

The panoramic view of San Francisco's waterfront visible from Cisco's new offices in some ways sets the theme for O+A's design. From almost any angle the visual impact is of light, spaciousness, bright colour, long sight lines.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Meraki, which was recently acquired by Cisco Systems, makes wireless routers—and takes pride in the elegance of their design.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

O+A sought to build the space the way Meraki builds its products - with an emphasis on simplicity and seamless ease of use. But it was also mindful of the importance to the company's identity of the Cisco-Meraki merger.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Located in the rapidly changing Mission Bay neighbourhood, Cisco's 110,000-square-foot suite of offices now becomes the company's principal San Francisco location.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

At the outset O+A surveyed Meraki's employees to find outwhat they liked about their old, much smaller headquarters. A consensus emerged for natural light, plenty of collaboration space and preservation of the company's tightly-knit culture.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

The size of the new space and the prominence of its floor-to-ceiling windows made collaboration and natural light relatively easy bills to fill.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

O+A's design offers a variety of meeting spaces formal and informal, indoor and outdoor, many of them bathed in the crystalline light of San Francisco Bay.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

The scale and the light support both a rich palette of colours and design elements tailored to the broad canvas: a wide staircase with integrated stadium seating at its base, a meeting room showered from above with hanging tillandsia plants, an outdoor deck with views of the baseball park and Bay Bridge.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Maintaining Meraki's cozy ambience in the hangar-sized complex proved more challenging. O+A's solution was to create a medley of small gathering spaces within the large footprint.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Sunken seating brings intimacy to horizontal common areas while preserving broad sight lines. Yurts, cabanas and phone rooms offer varying levels of enclosure. And throughout the office informal lounge spaces allow passing colleagues to sit down and talk.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

Despite the richness of the finishes and the wide array of typologies deployed, this is not a project that feels overly "designed". One of O+A's goals was to give Cisco a canvas on which to paint their own pictures.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

In lieu of pervasive branding graphics, O+A provided ubiquitous chalkboards, whiteboards and corkboards so that Cisco's employees could sketch, write and pin-up graphics meaningful to them.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

As might be expected of the company's strongly do-it-yourself culture, mobility and adaptability were big factors in the selection of furniture and workstations. These are people who like to move things around.

Cisco offices by Studio O+A features wooden meeting pavilions

  • dennis bloodnok

    How depressing – the network sewage firm attempting to be cool with a bunch of groovy funky SF millennials.

  • Djen

    Insufferable.

  • Mr Walnut Grey

    Some gorgeous Wegner chairs but that’s all. There is something rather banal and overtly pretentious about this set-up. Personally, I’d rather work elsewhere.

    • janine

      A little too try hard? Like most tech company headquarters I have seen.

  • Iag

    Haters gonna hate.

  • neben

    Actually I kinda like it, it might not be nothing new as a style for those kind of offices but the execution looks pretty neats and they shoved some really nice items (the gazebos, the white board integration) into the mix. Works for me (:

  • AK

    Some office envy going on here with comments. Good variety of spaces, and I can imagine people really enjoy working there. That’s the aim of the game.

    • dennis bloodnok

      It’s not office envy. It’s the depressing notion of a firm headed up by John Chambers and who’s only reason for existence is to transport the flotsam of the internet attempting to be cool. There’s nothing cool about Cisco.

      Disclosure: ex-employee. Also not cool.

  • Hugo

    Think about the place where you are staring at this screen. Is your office atmosphere better than Cisco’s? If so please share an article about yours.