Gensler’s Australian Managing Director, Tom Owens, was given an unexpected brief from file-sharing company Dropbox. “They came to us with a very specific and unusual request: they wanted a home for their staff.”
For Gensler, inspiration came from the combination of their client’s product and a typical Australian home. This inspiration was ‘sharing’. Shared space, shared memories, shared experiences. A traditional welcome mat has been embedded in to the floor at the office entrance, an ‘outdoor’ courtyard acts as an informal meeting area and the catered-for kitchen provides employees with breakfast, lunch and dinner. A true home from home experience.
The interior designers rejected traditional office conformity. There is a ‘flow’ of movement, just as there is inside your own house. You sit wherever you like, you choose which space to utilise depending on your work needs, and you are actively encouraged to feel comfortable.
The furnishings are cushioned and soft, sofas long and inviting and the decorations are domestic and unassuming. Lush leafy green plants and neutral tones adorn the walls and halls creating a calm and relaxing environment. An enormous window spans the length of a wall which reduces the need for artificial light, complemented by light wooden slats across the ceiling.
An over-arching purpose for the fitout was for employees to collaborate effectively under one roof. Serendipitous encounters amplify positive work relationships which leads to increased employee productivity.
Dropbox is a product that allows people to work from anywhere in the world. If you have an internet connection, you can access everything you need for work. However, working from home can be isolating, so Gensler ensured that the interior design for Dropbox was accommodating for those that may be part of the ever-present transient workforce.
Enjoying life is a key feature for Australians, and looking at their entertainment within the office you can see why. Surfing is a huge pastime for Australians, so it’s fitting that the ping pong table has a beautiful oceanic view printed on top.
If ever you needed a final touch to make the office feel homely, then Gensler achieved it with the wine storage rack in the kitchen. Sharing a bottle of wine with friends is an enjoyable pastime associated with dining at home – perhaps having a replica kitchen at work is another subtle tactic to make workers feel ‘at home’.
Dropbox has created an office that will not only attract a multitude of personalities but will also attract the top talent of the future with this trendy and unconventional office space.