Snøhetta completed the design of OkCupid’s new Headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The task – to complete a full floor interior renovation of a pre-war 12-story brick structure, providing a new home for Ok’s 58 employees. With the design of the new office, Snøhetta created a professional work environment with a laid back atmosphere that reflects OkCupid’s company culture.
Working within an open floor plan, Snøhetta was challenged to provide work spaces for the individual employees, alongside ample private meeting spaces and a full kitchen. The resulting design divides the space into production spaces and fun social areas.
The kitchen creates the social heart of the office. A solid surface ribbon countertop wraps around the kitchen and eating spaces, articulating its various functions by subtle changes in height and shifts in plan.
A series of long Haworth workbench tables stand east to west across an open floor plan of ebony-stained oak wood. With only computers sitting on tabletops, all other visual obstructions have been removed to facilitate informal communication and spontaneous collaboration between colleagues.
Adjacent to the work zone sit three intimate focus pods.
Complementing the informal use of the focus pods, three conference rooms for formal meetings line the southwest wall of the office. These rooms are equipped with flat screen TVs, video conference equipment, video game playing capabilities, large conference tables, and white boards for brainstorming and note taking. The rooms are partitioned acoustically from the rest of the office by full height glass, and sound-absorbing Tectum panels line the ceiling.
Conceptually, the pods are based on the Luban Lock heart, an ancient educational puzzle of three-dimensional inter-locking wood pieces. When the individual pods are pulled apart, a lounge emerges in the space between them. The interior spaces within each pod are used as informal meeting rooms.
The blue pod, the largest of the three, provides staff with a sound-proof meeting/play room. The smaller orange and green pods provide space for video conference calls, phone conversations, or break rooms to re-charge.
Employees eat lunch while seated in hand-carved wooden Osso Chairs designed by Bouroullec for Mattiazzi, at Coalesse Lottus tables.
The office’s natural materials and handmade furniture create an ambiance of professional contemporary comfort.