Architects: Studio Sarah Willmer
Location: 1098 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Design Team: Sarah Willmer, Doris Guerrero, Megan Carter, Josue Munoz-Miramon, Olya Piskun
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad
Project Area: 42,000 sq ft
Structural Engineer: Alex Rood, Fulcrum Structural Engineering
As luxury buses transport urban dwellers to Silicon Valley, Atlassian made a bold and conscious move to stay in the city close to its workforce. The office interior, an unexpected oasis offset by itsenigmatic warehouse exterior, offers generous and varied open space designed to mimic its city analog. While other software headquarters resemble clubhouses, tree houses, and a bevy of other office typologies, Atlassian’s clients and employees prefer a casually elegant environment. Atlassian currently services 81 of the Fortune 100 companies. Its new 42,000 square foot space reflects the company’s success at promoting an innovative product.
Atlassian’s culture is founded on being open and transparent with its employees, clients, and partners. In fact, the largest expense within the construction budget reflects the considerable amount of glazing utilized to achieve the balance of natural daylight and the need for an open and collaborative work environment. Multiple transparent conference rooms and various breakout areas for teamwork augment the egalitarian workspace (no dedicated or closed offices).The existing trussed double height space of the warehouse inspired the design of a “Town Square” and amphitheater: a common space for staff meetings, presentations, and product launches. Naturally becoming the focus of their new workplace, the wood terraced amphitheater seating took on a life of its own, evolving into a sculpted wood object carved at its underbelly with frameless glass enclosing a primary conference room. Facing the amphitheater, six transparent conference rooms, one wrapped in wood, define and contain the public event space.
Employee support spaces integrated throughout the office include generous kitchen and café areas, a game room, lounge areas, ample bicycle parking and showers. A refined color palette is utilized throughout with bolder splashes of color used to activate the smallest of rooms, the skype booths. A 25ft long sandwich island in the kitchen is fully stocked for daily lunch makings, engendering casual staff discourse among its 150 (and counting) employees. Atlassian has an open door policy towards employee dogs, an attitude that highlights this new approach to work and workplace.
The design for Atlassian’s space contributes to a trend in office design where transparent work culture is ever present: software engineers sit next to CEOs, glass conference rooms reveal and invite collaboration and public space encourages teamwork and community building. Innovative in its software products, Atlassian inspires a congenial and accessible office where one can “raid” the fridge, bring a dog, bike to work and stay engaged in the company’s culture: an unforgettable workplace.