VARA / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: 1880 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Jeorge Jordan, Will Chu, Alma Lopez, Caren Currie, Olivia Ward, Justin Ackerman, Al McKee
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Capital One Lab / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: San Francisco, CA,
Project Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Verda Alexander, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Chris Lindes, Oren Aks, Alma Lopez, Kroeun Dav, Alfred Socias, Justin Ackerman, Sarah Dziuba, Chase Lunt, Jeorge Jordan, Elizabeth Guerrero, Holly Hursley
Area: 3500.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Verda Alexander, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Steve Gerten, Elizabeth Guerrero, David Hunter, Alma Lopez, Renee Laput-Mendoza, Sarunya Wongjodsri, , Jeorge Jordan, Olivia Ward, Kroeun Dav, Chase Lunt, Amie Zemlicka, Maleesa Pollock, Will Chu
Area: 106,000 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

O+A: In Search of Optimal Office Design

The Giant Pixel Corporation: This software development company in occupies three tight floors of largely open-plan space. “We tried to provide different levels of acoustical privacy,” says O+A cofounder Denise Cherry. “The fully enclosed conference room is for confidential conversations, but you also have in-between spaces, like the canopied cabanas, which are connected to the work area—connected to the open plan—but still have some acoustic and even some visual separation.” Conference room ceiling made of recording-studio foam manufactured by Auralex. Image © Jasper Sanidad

Although office design has dramatically and drastically changed over the course of the 20th century, we aren’t finished yet. San Francisco firm O+A is actively searching for today’s optimal office design, designing work spaces to encourage both concentration and collaboration by merging elements from the cubicle-style office with those popularized by Steve Jobs. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Noises Off,” Eva Hagberg takes a look at some of their built works.

In the beginning was the cubicle. And the cubicle was almost everywhere, and the cubicle held almost everyone, and it was good. Then there was the backlash, and the cubicle was destroyed, put aside, swept away in favor of the open plan, the endless span of space, floor, and ceiling—punctuated by the occasional column so that the roof wouldn’t collapse onto the floor plate—and everyone talked about collaboration, togetherness, synergy, randomness and happenstance. Renzo Piano designed a New York Times building with open stairways so writers and editors could (would have to) run into one another, and everyone remembered the always-ahead-of-the-curve Steve Jobs who, when he was running Pixar, asked for only two bathrooms in the whole Emeryville building, and insisted they be put on the ground floor lobby so that designers and renderers could (would have to) run into each other, and such was the office culture of the new millennium.

And then there was the backlash to the backlash. Those writers wanted their own offices, and editors wanted privacy, and not everyone wanted to be running into people all the time, because not everyone was actually collaborating, even though their bosses and their bosses’ bosses said that they should, because collaboration, teamwork, and togetherness—these were the new workplace buzzwords. Until they weren’t. Until people realized that they were missing—as architect Ben Jacobson said in a Gensler sponsored panel on the need to create a balance between focus and collaboration—the concept of “parallel play,” i.e. people working next to each other, but not necessarily with each other. Until individuality came back, particularly in San Francisco in the tech scene, and particularly in the iconoclastic start-up tech scene, where people began to want something a little different.

Cisco Offices / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: , CA,
Project Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Steve Gerten, Elizabeth Guerrero, Chase Lunt, Alma Lopez, Caren Currie, Sarunya Wongjodsri, Justin Ackerman, David Hunter, Jeorge Jordan, Olivia Ward, Kroeun Dav, Chase Lunt, Amie Zemlicka, Alex Bautista, Maleesa Pollock, Will Chu,
Area: 110000.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Zazzle / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: , CA, USA
Area: 90,000 sqft
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

IE MASTER IN WORKS SPACE DESIGN INTRODUCES: The Invisible Workplace / Design for how we work (and think)

Virtual Master Class lead by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander of Studio O+A
Tuesday, October 15th, 19:00 Local Madrid Time

Working in the Silicon Valley for over twenty years, O+A has experienced many different philosophies in the workplace. In the past, has designed both the Facebook and Microsoft offices, and Primo and Verda were named Contract Magazine’s 2011 Designers of the Year. This course will explore how they have engaged clientele and environments to create spaces that support the way we work today given the changes in technology and the challenge of work life balance.

To register, please click hereFor more information contact admissions.architecture@ie.edu

Evernote / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: 305 Walnut Street, , CA 94063,
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Verda Alexander, Clem Soga, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Elizabeth Guerrero, David Hunter, Emily Brooks, Kroeun Dav, Alfred Socias, Sarunya Wongjodsri, Alma Lopez, Caren McDonald, Olivia Ward, Jeorge Jordan
Year: 2012
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Giant Pixel / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: 431 Jessie Street, , CA 94103, USA
Architect In Charge:
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Verda Alexander, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Neil Bartley, Caren McDonald, Jeorge Jordan, Liz Guerrero
Area: 4200.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Studio O+A named Designers of the Year by Contract magazine

© Cesar Rubio

Studio O+A, principals Verda Alexander and Primo Orpilla, were named this week by Contract magazine as the 2011 Designers of the Year.  Known for designs such as the Facebook Offices in Palo Alto, the award is recognition of Studio O+A’s consistency of bringing creative quality design to start-ups and venture firms in .

Complete press release following the break.

Facebook Offices / O+A Studio

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A few weeks ago we presented you photos from architectural offices that our readers shared through Facebook. And now, we bring to you the Facebook offices in , designed by Studio O+A.

is a San Francisco based practice, founded by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander during the dot-com boom of the early 1990s, bringing quality design to start-ups and venture firms at Silicon Valley.

I wish ArchDaily was big enough to require such facilities… the interior space is amazing, specially the open working areas and several small meeting/working/relaxing spaces here and there, that reflect the spirit of collaboration inside Facebook.

Architect’s description and more photos after the break: