Dezeen Magazine

Bleacher seating facing a large screen

Studio BV converts Minneapolis biscuit factory into offices for Our Family Wizard

Dark blue meeting rooms surround an atrium filled with globe-shaped lights at the offices of a Minneapolis tech company, which locally based Studio BV created in a former biscuit factory.

Studio BV created the 40,000-square-foot (3,700-square-metre) space for Our Family Wizard, an app designed to assist with co-parenting after divorce, inside the historic Loose Wiles Building in Minneapolis's North Loop neighbourhood.

Atrium filled with glass globe lights suspended on individual wires
A large atrium filled with glass globe lights sits at the centre of the building

As the company's first "real" office, it was important for the designers to imbue the spaces with its branding and personality, to help build a sense of identity, as well as entice those used to working from home into the workplace.

"The company had grown during the pandemic and wanted to find a new office that would be a draw for the employee mix and for people to come together and create relationships," said Studio BV.

Blue lounge area to the right and open hallway to the left
Some of the factory's brick walls were left exposed, while ceilings and ductwork were painted white

The building was once home to the Sunshine Biscuit Company, which produced snacks like Cheez-Its and Animal Crackers, and the team was keen to retain many of its original features.

"The historic components of the building reflect the past, old methods, rough textures," they said. "These components are embraced and in response we bring natural, and organic textures and color to the places where teams gather and connect."

Dark blue lounge seating in front of atrium
Lounge areas and breakout spaces ring the upper floor

Some of the exposed brick walls were left untreated, while concrete columns, ceiling beams and ductwork were painted white.

Meanwhile, colours lifted from Our Family Wizard's visual identity were introduced to assist with wayfinding and to inject personality.

A large wooden communal table in an tall space
Clerestory windows bring light into communal workspaces

Dark blue paint was applied to the large meeting room walls, and a paler shade lines smaller one-on-one booths.

Both hues were chosen for sofa upholstery in the lounge and breakout spaces that ring the upper level.

Three seating booths separated by perforated panels
Perforated panels separate seating booths in the upper-level bar

A large two-storey atrium in the middle of the floor plan brings extra daylight from the upper clerestory windows down into the lower levels.

On one side of a central brick structure, the atrium void is occupied by a chandelier of globe-shaped pendants, suspended on individual wires at different heights.

On the other, wooden bleacher-style seating for large team gatherings connects two lower levels, descending to one of two bar areas at its base.

The second bar, located on the upper level, features booth seating divided by perforated panels as well as cafe chairs and tables.

Dark blue bar with large counter and five stools
The office features two bars to encourage employees to socialise

"The unique character of this historic building is enhanced by the new office and amenity areas," said Studio BV founder and CEO, Betsy Vohs.

"The old historic ovens and openings are used to connect people between the floors. The large volume of space is flooded with daylight from the large windows and clerestory glass."

Two booths beneath the atrium
Blue tones used for upholstery are borrowed from the company's visual identity

Offices for technology companies have come a long way since the slides and foosball tables of the dot-com boom.

Recently completed examples include a Southern California workplace linked by black staircases and a repurposed power station in Singapore

The photography is by Corey Gaffer.

More images

Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices
Our Family Wizard Offices