Studio O+A recently designed Slack's new multi-floor headquarters in San Francisco. Slack's CEO, Stewart Butterfield, is an avid hiker who goes off grid every year to recharge in the various types of wilderness-desert, mountains, forest-that make up the Pacific Crest Trail. O+A's concept was to create a floor-by-floor evocation of those landscapes. The idea was to not only suggest a variety of topographical and botanical contexts, but also to capture the similarities between hiking a wilderness trail and working.
The second floor's baked earth colors and live cacti evoke the Baja desert. The seventh floor suggests forests in the Pacific Northwest via birch wood trunks, green walls, and 'fairy-ring' meeting spaces. As with any good hike, there are 'scenic surprises' - a 'starry night' lounge, or a wall installation that replicates Lake Tahoe's topography. Each floor is flexible to adapt to different kinds of working at different times and supports the kind of community that is as important among hikers as it is among tech workers.
This motif is sustained across 10 floors with wilderness cues as varied as old growth forests, mountain streams, volcanoes and glaciers. Every floor includes conference room wall graphics created from the wilderness photography of Slack employee Adam Torres and room names taken from the skies, the trails and the living things of the wilderness.
Photography: Garrett Rowland