Making Data Software Exciting (Starting With The Headquarters)
The corporate spirit of Splunk, a San Francisco-based international data software company, is innovative, passionate, disruptive, open and fun. In keeping with this sentiment, a predictable headquarters was out of the question for this company, known for its eponymous product that makes machine data accessible with vivid visualizations, charts and graphs.
So when it came time to design its new 180k SF workspace, Splunk called on NicholsBooth Architects, an interior architecture firm that shares Splunk’s playful spirit, to design a space that reflects the Splunk culture.
The new HQ represents a close collaboration between the design and tech firms, and features unexpected furnishings, distinctive elements and fun, custom finishes.
NicholsBooth’s vision went beyond vibrant colors and aesthetic appeal, incorporating serious functional aspects in the design. NicholsBooth acoustically tailored the space to suit Splunk’s particular needs, and created conference rooms and other spaces that reflected the ways employees use them. The open floor plan and huddle spaces with whiteboards foster the data company’s collaborative culture and creativity.
In a testament to Splunk’s egalitarian ethos, the top floor, with the best light and views, is a community space, available to all employees to enjoy. It includes team rooms, a wellness center, a yoga room and a kitchen/bar area with TV.
Each of the seven floors has a unique theme based on San Francisco Through the Ages: from the Gold Rush and Victorian eras through Prohibition, The Bridges, Film Noir, Beatnik, the Summer of Love and the ‘70s to today.
“We wanted to break the mold when it came to wayfinding and design,” says NicholsBooth project director Martha Breed. “We steered away from creating a blue floor and a red floor. Instead, we let each of the floors take on their own identity.”
“It was like designing seven projects at one time,” says project designer Candace Chan. “But it was a lot of fun to try to distill a city we all love into this design.”
The new LEED Gold space, designed in collaboration with Arup and CRI and constructed by Pankow, is at 270 Brannan St in the SoMa district and houses over 1,000 staff. It sits adjacent to Splunk’s existing HQ at 250 Brannan.
The two buildings will connect at the third floor to create one large downtown urban campus. To learn more about NicholsBooth Architects, click here.