Workspace of the Week - L'Oreal Offices, El Segundo

When trailblazing commercial design firm, Blitz, was tasked with designing the glamorous West Coast home for L’Oréal, the world’s leading beauty brand, their goal was to make it fluid, fresh, and community-oriented. Women-run on both the Blitz and L’Oréal leadership fronts, showcasing important feminist history and celebrating the power of women in the workplace was a priority. Originally an aerospace manufacturing warehouse, the 130,000 SF facility employed thousands of women to build planes during WW II. Homages to this rich history are incorporated throughout via visual elements and photographic displays.

As the first unified home for a collection of L’Oréal’s west coast brands (NYX, Pulp Riot, Urban Decay and Youth To The People), the project needed to represent both the global L’Oréal name, as well as the unique aspects of the distinct California-based brands. The layout was designed around a central organizing axis referred to as the ‘river’ in reference to the LA river. This metaphorical waterway winds through all of the social and shared amenities (production studios, creator’s salon and cafés) promoting spontaneous and organic connections. The various brand-specific areas fan out from its flowing path.

Drawing inspiration from the omnipresent progression of sunlight over the course of a day in LA, three thematic directions help set the mood of each mini environment within the overall space: calm, individual-focused areas are represented by the cool, subdued tones of daybreak; higher energy, collaborative areas like shared offices and conference rooms are represented by the bright, crisp colors of mid-day; and more muted, communal areas for people to take breaks— like cafés— are reflected in the warm, saturated tones of sunset.

Finishes, graphics (including exterior signage), and stylistic choices like color palette and furnishings, and curated art contribute to the transformative effects. Wellness and work-life balance were top of mind and incorporated through thoughtful and tranquil elements like an urban garden, expensive biophilic plantings, a “barking lot” (for the team’s furry friends), wellness and exercise rooms, indoor-outdoor workspaces, and an abundance of natural light.

Blitz also added a central interconnecting stair, and catwalk element to the project’s social and physical centers – the ground floor cafe and second floor coffee bar. The stair and catwalk form physical connections between levels and areas, but also provide interior topography that enables people to climb to survey the larger space, its components, and the people that work there.

The project features L’Oréal’s first west coast professional academy, ProLAb which has a separate, public-facing entry. The academy includes a full salon, three training studios and a large, flexible event space for hair shows and large format training sessions. It has immediate access to the outdoor spaces for indoor / outdoor events.

Read about the project here -