We’ve compiled a list of 20 of our favourite offices from across the world, to show you what happens behind the scenes of some of the biggest companies on the internet, and some small nuggets of design from more obscure companies.
Selgas Cano – Madrid
There are offices in this list from some of the biggest companies in the world, but when it comes to making awesome offices, size doesn’t matter. This must be one of the most relaxing offices to work in, because you’re half underground, and half above ground, with views out into the woods. This is Selgas Cano Office, which was designed by Iwan Baan and is situated in a forest, near Madrid, in Spain. This office for architects is light and airy, with clean lines and colorful details, making it a great place to work from. It’s less about awesome fun slides, great food and gaming areas, and more about a relaxed environment, away from harsh lighting and big empty rooms.
Google Office – Zurich
It’s no secret that Google is a fun, fresh company, with tonnes of money, and dedicated employees, and part of the secret behind these employees is the awesome offices that they work from. Google put a lot of time and money into making the perfect work environment, mixing business with pleasure so that the staff can relax and refuel during their breaks. Google thrives of creativity and that thought has very much gone into the reasoning behind the designs of their offices, providing every employee with a space for them to be creative.
There’s a rule at Google that nobody is allowed to be more than 100 meters away from food, so you’ll find kitchens everywhere, as well as an awesome cafeteria where every employee is fed three times a day, for free. If you think that the offices are over the top and far too big, then at least you won’t have to spend all your time walking everywhere as you can just take the slide or fireman’s pole around the building. If all of that’s not enough for you, and you really want somewhere quiet to relax and get away from work, there’s always the library or aquarium.
Red Bull Office – Soho, London
Situated in a build of great character, we have the London office of Red Bull, which is a converted building of five old pubs in Soho. With none of the buildings originally linking together, or even having floors on the same height, this was always going to be an interesting building with plenty of space and cool features. Red Bull isn’t just about energy drinks, these offices are for roughly 100 people in their 20′s mostly, to come and collaborate and be creative together in these unique spaces. They threw away the corporate office rule book and decided upon a more lounge like feel, with original features from the old buildings, and a reception that turns into a bar at night. This is the perfect workspace for the young Londoner looking to be creative with one of the most interesting companies around.
AOL Head Quarters – Palo Alto, California
It’s no secret that AOL isn’t the company that is used to be, but they’re trying to make big changes with the purchase of websites such as Techcrunch and Huffington Post, and they’ve recently had a massive overhaul of their headquarters to suit. They’ve gotten rid of the bland corporate facade and taken a leaf out of Google’s books and tried to make their office more fun and inspiring, with fresh new designs. This office is everything you’ll come to expect from enormous internet companies with large kitchens, splashes of color, countless relaxation areas, pool tables, games rooms, and of course, the all important work spaces.
Parliament – Portland, Oregon
This is a company that knows the importance of a happy and comfortable work environment, but have given it a slightly different twist to some of the companies on this list. The design of this office involves a lot of reclaimed or recycled materials such as old street signs, a salvaged pizza oven and a wood from a barn and a church. But just because they’ve used old materials, doesn’t mean the design has to suffer as the attention to detail and finish is superb, and the mix of raw materials really help it to stand out. To top it all off, the office is finished with a bearskin rug, which is rather
This is a company that knows the importance of a happy and comfortable work environment, but have given it a slightly different twist to some of the companies on this list. The design of this office involves a lot of reclaimed or recycled materials such as old street signs, a salvaged pizza oven and a wood from a barn and a church. But just because they’ve used old materials, doesn’t mean the design has to suffer as the attention to detail and finish is superb, and the mix of raw materials really help it to stand out. To top it all off, the office is finished with a bearskin rug, which is rather suiting I think.
Dreamhost – La Brea, California
Designed by the same people that did AOL and Facebook, the Dreamhost office is another one of those office with bright open spaces, which have gotten rid of personal cubicals to encourage interaction between the staff. Open and private areas are scattered about the building for meetings, relaxation and work, as well as games areas and places to eat. Designs like these may start to appear quite common, but I assure you, this sort of thing only happens when big bucks are involved, how many of you have played ping pong at work? Large glass windows make for a light work environment, away from harsh fluorescent lighting, while the variety of flooring and splashes of color make it feel a lot less clinical.
Comvert – Milan, Italy
This has got to be one of the coolest buildings to build an office in, which came about when alternative clothing company Comvert were looking for a new space for their headquarters. During the search, they happened upon an old abandoned cinema that seemed to offer the perfect solution. It was big enough to house all of their offices, warehousing and even room a shop in the front, however, there was one ‘problem’, what would they do with all the extra room above where the audience sat during a movie? The answer is unique, inspired, and all but simple – build an indoor skate bowl which sat suspended above the warehouse. This was a perfect solution for all the space, while keeping the staff entertained, and fitting in their alternative clothing brand image.
Facebook – Palo Alto, California
Facebook went around their office design a little differently to most companies, actually using it’s own software to conduct polls asking their employees what they would want from an office. The result was a superb work environment with big open spaces to work from, and amazing relaxation areas with a place to skate and DJ from. That’s right, there’s no simply plugging in your iPod to a dock, there’s a whole booth that you can polish up your mixing skills at while entertaining colleagues. All of this combined with the modern, comfortable styling of the complex and means that Facebook is one of the best places to work and play, which is ideal really, considering their employees look after 500 million people a day, from roughly 750 million active accounts.
YouTube – San Bruno, California
YouTube is an interesting company really because it was sold in less than 2 years for princely sum of $1.65 billion, yet it’s earning capabilities seem to be far below that. That hasn’t stopped Google from splashing out on big expensive offices though, which seems to be a trademark for them. Big open floor plans and perks for employees dominate this office complex, as they can relax with a bit of indoor putting, free-roam Segway riding, eating, gaming, swimming, and gym activities, to name just a few. It’s business and pleasure all rolled into one at YouTube, with the hopes that the staff will be relaxed and inspired enough to come up with new ideas and work well with their colleagues.
Dtac Headquarters – Bangkok
Dtac recently decided to put an end to separate office spaces throughout the city of Bangkok, and brought all six buildings under one roof, which happens to be the largest ever office lease in Thailand’s history, occupying around 650,000 square feet. The move and design reflects the company’s desire to become the employer of choice, to “enhance cooperation and communication, strengthen common goals, increase creativity” and make it easier for the brand to react quickly to changing conditions.
Dtac’s brand approach is “play and learn” and they wanted to reflect this to their employees and customers with their new, rather inspiring office, spanning 22 floors. Some of the highlights include a massive circular library amphitheatre, and an entire floor dedicated to fun, with indoor soccer, table tennis, running track, and concert and performance spaces. To feed creativity, there’s the Conversation Pit, the Freeform Meeting, Picnic Table and Dining Room, all created to encourage informal, face-to-face meetings. And lets not forget what tops off the building – an open terrace overlooking Bangkok’s skyline.