The panoramic view of San Francisco’s waterfront visible from Cisco’s new offices sets the theme for Studio O+A’s design. From any angle the visual impact is of light, spaciousness, bright color, long sightlines.
Meraki, which was recently acquired by Cisco Systems, makes wireless routers focused on design. O+A sought to create 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.
At the outset O+A surveyed Meraki’s employees, a consensus emerged for natural light, plenty of collaboration space and preservation of the company’s tightly-knit culture. The hangar-size (110,000 square foot) of the new space and the prominence of its floor-to-ceiling windows made collaboration and natural light. O+A’s design offers a variety of meeting spaces formal and informal, indoor and outdoor; they create a medley of small gathering spaces within the large footprint. Sunken seating brings intimacy to horizontal common areas while preserving broad sightlines. 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. In lieu of pervasive branding graphics, O+A provided ubiquitous chalkboards, whiteboards and corkboards so that employees could sketch, write and pin-up graphics meaningful to them. 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.
Photo by Jasper Sanidad, courtesy O+A.