Contract - November/December 2011 - (Page 60)

renovation / adaptive reuse start-up style An Internet giant captures the zeitgeist of the young and nimble By Lydia Lee Photography by Jasper Sanidad Start-ups naturally operate in a way that fosters collaboration and a group ethos: When you have four people crammed around a single desk working through the night to get a demo ready for a meeting the next day with venture capitalists, the office environment is almost superfluous. But that intense corps d’esprit can be difficult to maintain once a company scales up. When the venerable internet company AOL wanted to bring the feel of a start-up to its West Coast headquarters, it turned to Studio O+A, Contract magazine’s 2011 Designer of the Year, and a firm that has made a specialty out of the hip, high-tech office. As part of its reinvention in recent years, AOL had unveiled a new logo and a redesigned New York office by Mancini-Duffy. In 2010, it decided to relocate its West Coast operations from Mountain View to a three-sto building in Palo Alto that had previously been an office filled with standard, drab cubicles. By putting AOL’s office and its 200 employees on the third floor, and subleasing the rest of the space to small newcomers, AOL is creating a bustling incubator in its own building. Studio O+A, Contract 2011 Designer of the Year Enter Studio O+A. The San Francisco–based firm developed its niche during the 1990s dot-com boom, and has designed offices for more than 50 start-ups, including recent clients Facebook and PayPal. In particular, Studio O+A has become known for injecting In the open reception area with concrete floors, the designers exposed the ceiling and added hanging light fixtures. A not-so-corporate aesthetic is immediately apparent with the colorful seats and modular rug, which coordinate well with the vibrant use of the AOL logo. 60 contract november/december 2011 www.contractdesign.com http://www.contractdesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November/December 2011

Contract - November/December 2011
Contents
Editorial
Industry News
Product Briefs
Product Focus: Classic Touch
Product Focus: Generating Buzz(i)
Gelfand Partners Architects Office in San Francisco Designed by Gelfand Partners Architects
Sorg Architects Office in Washington, D.C. Designed by Sorg Architects
Sauerbruch Hutton Office in Berlin, Germany Designed by Sauerbruch Hutton
Roth Sheppard Architects Office in Denver Designed by Roth Sheppard Architects
AOL West Coast Headquarters in Palo Alto, California Designed by Studio O+A
Red Bull Canada Office Expansion in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Designed by Johnson Chou Inc.
Goods Shed North in Melbourne, Australia Designed by BVN Architecture
Bota Bota Spa in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Designed by Sid Lee Architecture
A’maree’s in Newport Beach, California Designed by Paul Davis Architects
2011 Contract Brand Report Awareness Survey
Sources
Designers Select: Building Products
Ad Index
Perspectives

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