Architect: Aro Eberle Architects
Contractor: CG Schmidt
EatStreet is a tech company that has developed a location-based phone app connecting users to area restaurants facilitating easy ordering and delivery options from one platform. The fast-growing company has outgrown their office space annually for the previous five years. The goal for this project was to create a workplace that could handle their growth needs for the foreseeable future as well as create an atmosphere that would attract and retain talent in a very competitive employment marketplace.
The driver of our design was simple: Technology companies must provide a work environment that is unique and enjoyable to attract and retain talent. To accomplish this, we were sympathetic to the need of the business to attract talented and productive people, but also sympathetic to its users by providing amenities that satisfy their daily and long term needs.
A variety of work spaces were provided to suit user’s needs, including seated and standing work stations, collaboration areas and quiet spaces for heads down work. Providing access to daylight, nourishment, activities and fresh air throughout the day were highly prioritized. Some of the building amenities outside of the tenant space--like a fitness center--reinforced the program without having to be included in the project.
The design team created five different zones in the plan for the various departments by using meeting rooms, private phone booths and the connecting stairs to break up the orthogonal shape of the original shell. The forms of the fixed spaces were then distorted to create clear traffic patterns throughout the space.
When entering at the seventh floor, visitors are realigned to a new axis at the reception desk. This angle was introduced to diminish the presence of the original rectilinear grid. Off to the side, the large open staircase and floor opening were added to create a sense of connection between floors and a center of gravity for the space. The bottom landing was designed with three sides to reinforce this idea of connection and centrality.
Meeting spaces were placed throughout the office. Their dimensions and features were planned to cater to the unique needs of each department. Floor to ceiling writeable coatings were used on strategic walls in both enclosed and open meeting spaces to maximize the space available for writing and sharing ideas.
Open benching workstations were used in nearly all departments because of the collaborative nature of the work taking place. Phone booths near each department offer a space for privacy when needed. The sales department was the exception to this as small, private offices were needed due to their rigorous on/off working style. The enclosed offices support heads down work as well as create acoustic separation for continuous sales calls. The layout of the offices along the perimeter of the exterior create an open lounge environment at the center for sales staff to utilize during down time.
On the eighth floor, the stair opening is flanked by the dining area and game room on one side and the large board room on the other. The board room provides sound separation between the noisy dining space and the product development department. The dining area fills the need for quality down-time during the long hours that employees sometimes work, as well as the desire for communal activity among staff. Access to two large outdoor patios, both with excellent views of the city, offer opportunities for employees to break away for fresh air and sunshine throughout the day.
The EatStreet office blends current office design trends with the specific needs of the client. The design takes advantage of the features and proportions of the existing shell to create an attractive and unique solution on a rather limited budget. The project embodies the culture of the company and serves the users and the business well.
Photos: Michael R. Conway