12 Offices of Famous Companies
In our days, companies are still trying to get more and more distinctive in people’s mind. Although the main difference is made through the brands they create, the important companies are beginning to use their corporate identity as part of the big competition. And a major role in a business’s identity is represented by the look of their offices, the place where everything happens.
The more distinguishing the headquarters are, the more interesting the company becomes for the large public and the more appealing it turns out to be for the potential employees. Here are some of the greatest architectural examples ever created to host a company’s office.
Vodafone – Porto, Portugal
Vodafone is one of the world leading’s companies in telecommunications, a trend setter in its field and one of the most powerful brands ever created. Following the company’s philosophy “Vodafone Life, Life in Motion”, architects José António Barbosa and Pedro Guimarães managed to create one of the most awe inspiring buildings in Portugal.
The new Vodafone headquarters in Porto defies the static rules and appears to be a structure in motion. Looking at it from the outside, it seems like the whole structure has fallen out of the sky and crashed into its actual location. The uneven angles and amiably undefined spaces are also a feature of the interior, where vibrant pieces of furnishings absolutes the design.
Facebook – Palo Alto, CA, USA
Connecting people and socializing – these are two of the main values standing not just behind the leading social network today, but also behind the new design of Facebook offices, in Palo Alto. Moreover, the actual design of the headquarters was planned only after company-wide polls were conducted, so that the architects could find out what were the main needs of the Facebook employees.
Refurbishing the office was made through recycling and repurposing various parts of the old facility. Energy-efficient lightning and recycled-content carpets are now being used, in order to make the workspace as energy efficient as possible. The space is grouped into separate “groups” or communities, just like on Facebook, but there are also open meeting lounges, where everyone can join an ongoing discussion.
Pixar Animation Studios HQ – Emeryville CA, USA
Pixar is definitely one of the most popular and well known computer animation companies in the world. During its activity, the studio has released pictures that has won 26 Academy Awards, 7 Golden Globes, 3 Grammys and many more awards. And such an impressive record may not have occurred if the employees worked in traditional office-style cubicles.
Inspirational – that’s the main attribute of the studio lot based in Emeryville, California. Constituted as a large complex, the Pixar Animation Studios HQ includes them all – outsized lamp sculptures, a park exclusively dedicated to the employees, an Olympic-size swimming pool, large indoor working and relaxing spaces and some astonishing designs for the creative working places.
Googleplex – Mountain View CA, USA
This is the corporate headquarters complex of Google Inc., which is just one of the company’s 26 American office locations. Besides these locations, Google has opened 23 offices in Europe, 14 in Asia and 5 in Middle East. The Californian Googleplex is believed to be the company’s largest office in the world and at the time of its installation, in 2007, it was the biggest corporation headquarters in the United States.
The Googleplex has four core buildings, comprising some 47,038 sq meters (506,310 sq ft). Shade lamps and giant rubber balls decorate the interior of the buildings, which is usually based on the principles of open space and unconventional arrangements. The main lobby contains a piano and a live projection of the Google Search queries. The complex also includes many facilities such as a gym, free laundry rooms, two swim-in-place pools, a stylish barber shop, a toys room and even a massage chamber. Moreover, the company allows the employees to bring not just their children, but also their dogs to work.
Red Bull – London, UK
Minimalist and very functional – that’s what the Red Bull headquarters in London is all about. This is one of the most dynamic office spaces ever created and one of its most attractive features is the high-speed carbon slide, connecting two floors and minimizing the time one should need to get ASAP to a meeting. The Red Bull office sprawls on three floors, creating more than 12,000 sq ft of interactive working space.
The whole space was designed as an office intended to “stimulate the body and the mind”, both for the employees and visitors. That is why it also includes some floating staircases and ping pong table meeting rooms that arouse the senses and encourage imagination. And if this environment doesn’t seem to be “work-friendly” enough, find out that a panoramic café bar and a comfy lounge area are also included.
Ogilvy & Mather, Guangzhou, China
Opened in 2008, this office was immediately selected as one of the recipients of the third annual China’s Most Successful Design Award. “A carnival of ideas” is the figurative concept standing behind this unusual design and that is why this project was the first interior work to receive the most the prestigious Chinese award.
Besides many great ideas and professionals working in the Ogilvy & Mather office, you will find merry-go-round horses, life-sized nutcrackers and lots of other surprises. A stairway connects the marketing department on the first floor with the creativity division above, symbolizing an uninterrupted flow of creativity. Featuring a mixture of amusement park themes, the office became very famous in Asia after its opening and the concept gained recognition as a serious trend in the area.
Microsoft Pioneer Office, Seattle WA, USA
Usually considered by the public as a conventional corporation, Microsoft proved exactly the contrary by opening this workplace, in December last year. The new Pioneer Studios Office, designed by SkB Architects, is created as a perfect and inspiring environment, where the creative expression is stimulated and supported by every piece of furniture or design that surrounds the employees.
The idea started by the premise that the Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices staff needed a space with an extended functionality, that might socialize at night as good as it would socialize during daytime. This is the main focus of the office, since collaboration is a key team activity in this division. The Pioneer Office has multiple operational areas that are easily reconfigurable, facilitating individuals to add multiple monitors for their own use or to move their workspace closer to another team member.
McLaren Technology Centre, Surrey, UK
This immense building is located on a 50 hectare site, about three kilometers north of Woking town. It is a large, glass-walled semi-circular building that features more than 57,000 sq meters of office space. Although the whole facility might host up to nine Boeings 747, it is currently the working place for all the 900 McLaren employees.
Designed by Norman Foster and completed in 2003, the building continues to be one of the most environmental friendly office spaces around Britain. The water from five ecology lakes completes the landscape and is used through a series of heat exchangers, to cool the building. The main working space of the building is divided into 18 meter wide open sections, by a sequence of 6 meter wide corridors. A 700 seat restaurant, a coffee bar, a swimming pool and a fitness area are the main employee facilities featured in the McLaren Technology Centre.
Lego Group’s Development Department, Billund, Denmark
Relaxation, stimulation, brightness, colorfulness – these are the main principles taken in consideration when designing the new work place for the Development Department employees. Through its pretentious, yet modern and friendly design, the new Lego office manages to stimulate both visually and socially any individual that passes through its door.
The architects of the new office in Billund managed to create an environment where cooperation and knowledge sharing can be basic activities, day after day. A reception area, a café bar and multiple meeting rooms were therefore created, to sustain the social interaction. The unique piece of the design relies in the fact that the reception area and the café bar are placed in the same room. As a result of breaking down all the material barriers between the employees and the visitors, an open and inviting space was created starting from the first steps inside.
Cartoon Network, Atlanta GA, USA
Although the cubical system is still working for the Cartoon Network headquarters in Atlanta, their office ambience is not even close to something dull. Cartoon Network is a television channel dedicated exclusively to children’s programs and the juvenile environment seemed to extend upon the office environment, here in Atlanta.
In the Cartoon Network building, each and every single cubicle is personalized to the occupants wishes. Bright furniture and colorful walls, tens of mascots depicting cartoon characters, hundreds of stickers or magnets covering every possible inch of the cubicle – these are all possible scenarios in this playful workplace.
ING Headquarters, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This original structure stands upon 16 steel legs somewhere near Amsterdam and is 10 stories high. Since the headquarters of a corporation needs to express its organizational values, this controversial ING office was designed to infuse a feeling of innovation, transparency, openness and eco-friendliness.
The counterpoint of this extraordinary aluminum and glass exterior is represented by the six inner gardens every employee and visitor can enjoy. The 5,600 sq meter building also includes a 250 seat auditorium, a restaurant, a library and flexible workspaces that allow every employee to change the scenery whenever they feel like they could use a break. Specially controlled installations, along with the inner gardens made it one of the most efficient energy saving building in Netherlands. The unusual shape of the structure determined the locals to call it “the shoe” or the “spaceship”.
Disney Store Headquarters, Pasadena, CA, USA
Once an office warehouse, the actual location of the Disney Store Headquarters is a multicolored and lively workspace. On the 7,500 sq meter facility, the architect Clive Wilkinson managed to create some of the most ingenious solutions for efficient space division.
Most of the small gatherings at the Disney Store Headquarters take place in an adjustable meeting room bordered by huge modular honeycombs. If there is a need for a larger group to attend a get-together, there is an extensive meeting room, where two sides of foam block walls can be disassembled and become a seating system for 200 individuals. A Pink Mickey room and Glasses Eggs hanging chairs are other colorful areas where the employees can unwind or work together.