By Stephen Searer, Office Sanpshots.
Richmond-based Snagajob recently moved into a new 65,000 sqft corporate headquarters in order to accomodate the company’s fast-growing team. Partnering with Baskervill, the company was able to create an office reflective of their lively and energetic culture – a culture which ranked the company #1 in the 2011 Great Place to Work ® Best Small & Medium Workplaces by Entrepreneur.
Baskervill worked with Snagajob’s employees to understand what type of office they were looking for and used the information to craft the open and collaborative office.
A great writeup on the space by Baskervill’s Director of Workplace Strategies, Susan Orange:
“Early in the programming and Immersion phase, the expectations from the client and design team were clear: Snaggers would participate ﬁrst-hand in the development of their new ofﬁce space. Identiﬁed during the ﬁrst engaging Immersion process, design goals focused on several main ideas: bring the outdoors indoors, make it fun, teamwork and collaboration. Snagajob’s drivers and objectives for the new space included creating an environment that enabled Snaggers to work more effectively, improve communication, keep it comfortable, and stimulate innovation.
In response, ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows ﬂood the area with light, allowing for scenic views of the pond. Instead of private ofﬁces, the new space features intentionally designed areas that create opportunities for casual collisions, collaboration, and synergy. More than twenty conference rooms throughout the space, on each ﬂoor, allow for spontaneous and scheduled collaboration, ensuring the creative process is always in motion.
The scope of work included interior architecture/design, space planning, features, furniture, and ﬁxtures. Private ofﬁces were replaced by a strategically positioned design of open and collaborative space, evoking an energetic community-based working atmosphere. Natural light, and materials such as concrete, wood, and metal, serve as a canvas for custom assembled furniture, bright splashes of color, and employee photos.
The open ﬂoor plan was a challenging opportunity. On one hand, it allowed for spontaneity, gathering spaces, and encouraged free exchange of ideas. On the other hand, wall space was at a premium, and each wall had to be carefully considered for its functionality. The ceiling was fashioned to add height, light, details, articulation, and aesthetic design elements. Creative use of materials on a limited budget allowed the design team to focus on high-impact community spaces.
The new space includes a town center gathering space, kitchen, beer taps, and “The Hill.” An intricate part of the corporate culture, The Hill (a six-tier riser), transforms into a lively and engaging space for the entire company to meet, share information, and celebrate with “shout outs,” where employees and leadership recognize outstanding performance and important business/personal milestones.
The show-stopper is the stainless steel slide, a practical icon of fun providing employees quick transport between the space’s two ﬂoors. This playful accent is intended to stimulate workers and visitors to “do things… differently.” The response from employees and leadership has been overwhelmingly positive. Employees can even be seen on the weekends enjoying the space and playing ping pong, not necessarily working. The new space reinforces the client’s motto “bust it while having fun,” and serves as a physical communicator of this company’s culture, brand, mission, and process.”
Photography: Chris Cunningham Photography