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  7. Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A

Refurbishment in Architecture

presented by the MINI Clubman

Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A

  • 01:00 - 20 June, 2014
Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A
Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A, © Jasper Sanidad
© Jasper Sanidad

© Jasper Sanidad © Jasper Sanidad © Jasper Sanidad © Jasper Sanidad + 23

  • Architects

  • 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

    106000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

  • Contractor

    Novo Construction
  • MEP Consultants

    Amit Wadhwa and Associates
  • Structural Engineering

    Vaziri Structural Engineering
  • Client

    Yelp
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Jasper Sanidad
© Jasper Sanidad

Text description provided by the architects. As tech companies take root in urban locations where space is limited, the collegial spirit of Silicon Valley finds new modes of expression in high-rise buildings and converted industrial facilities. Key to our design for Yelp was the concept of a vertical campus– an all-encompassing, self-contained community stacked on multiple floors. Yelp moved its HQ from a smaller site in San Francisco to a classic Financial District high-rise. As with most multi-story occupancies, the design challenge at Yelp was to facilitate group dynamics so that people interact with each other even though they work on different floors.

In other words– how do you create a neighborhood in a tower?

© Jasper Sanidad
© Jasper Sanidad

One way is to give each floor a destination that will appeal to all the floors. At Yelp we placed a fully-equipped coffee shop on the 8th floor, a break room with window seating on the 5th, and semi-private pods for chess or chatting on the 11th. Each floor’s common areas thus become common to the company at large and not just to those whose workstations occupy that level.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

In a high-rise campus the central gathering place is vertically central. Yelp’s reception area is on the 9th floor, with other departments above and below.  To make the reception worthy of a trip up or down in the elevator, O+A created a “General Store,” a modern pop-up improvisation on Yelp’s place in the new world of commercial entrepreneurship. Taking our cues from another era of commerce when candy was sold in jars and signage was gold-leaf painted on a window, we created a lobby with the layout of a retail operation. The layout, but not, in fact, the function—none of the “merchandise” on display is for sale and the vintage cash register at the reception desk is strictly for show. Guests, however, may help themselves to the candy.

© Jasper Sanidad
© Jasper Sanidad

Echoing this nod to the past, is the placement throughout Yelp’s entire campus of finely-crafted doors reclaimed from offices that originally occupied the site. Many of these doors include fluted or frosted glass panels and door-knobs from another era. Combined with the exposed brick that is prevalent on every floor of Yelp’s HQ, these touches lend the weight of history to a design that is looking determinedly forward.

© Jasper Sanidad
© Jasper Sanidad

Perhaps the smoothest juxtaposition of old and new occurs in the coffee bar. The brick walls and abundant natural light of the seating area give the space a SOMA café texture, while the kitchen includes the most modern artisan hot beverage facilities. Access to the bar storage and service areas is through a blind door that appears to be a smooth, wood wall. Custom lighting in this area is suspended from rope fixtures individually hand-woven. With local coffee companies like Blue Bottle and Sightglass rotating baristas in the bar, the theme of handmade, top-quality production is repeated in every detail of the space. Because of it, Yelp’s employees will always have a free latte at their fingertips—and a unique space to drink it in.

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About this office
Cite: "Yelp Headquarters / Studio O+A" 20 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/517354/yelp-headquarters-studio-o-a/> ISSN 0719-8884
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