9 Mar 2020
Valerio Dewalt Train and Office of Things have recently realized the new lobby space for YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California.
Occupying a building in San Bruno, California, previously housing the Gap's headquarters, YouTube quickly realised that its lobby was in dire need of an update. Congested and poor acoustics made it feel loud and chaotic, but equally important, the entrance was plain and didn't reflect the company's creative brand, or it's 2 billion user base.
A series of visioning sessions were necessary to dictate the design of the new lobby. To firstly create a striking experience which was memorable to visitors to the space, secondly to integrate iconic, shareworthy branding to encourage user interaction with social media, thirdly to incorporate multipurpose functionality and optimal flow so the space could be used for both events, and day-to-day work activities, and lastly to provide a canvas for creators.
The double-height atrium is now stripped down to its metallic structure, intersected by a long skylight that runs the length of the space. A floor to ceiling digital installation greets visitors to the area. The designers treated this as an art piece, and the LEDs lighting the panels are broadly spaced and set a few inches behind a layer of acoustic fabric. The soft fabric is inviting, and conceal the LEDs when off.
YouTube's famous "play" icon is outlined in neon in the center of the LED wall. The northern side of the lobby is lined with pockets of green wall, stacked wooden benches and high table seating.
Elements of biophilia support employee wellness whilst complimenting the natural wooden textures throughout the space. A series of floor "medallions" encourage visitors to interact with the digital installation. Each medallion is a graphic describing one of YouTube's core values. Stepping on one triggers a reaction on the digital wall, and activating multiple medallions in different combinations gets different responses. The lobby, much like YouTube's online platform is designed to foster creativity, exploration and discovery.
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