Company & Culture

AppDirect Office Expansion Keeps Focus on Company Culture

By Gretchen Dukowitz / Sep 17, 2014

140908  Growth  Blogpost

Collabobooth.jpgEarlier today, we announced some impressive growth milestones that AppDirect has achieved over the past year. For us, one of the most exciting is the completed expansion of our headquarters. AppDirect’s offices are still located in the storied Hartford Building in downtown San Francisco, but we’ve added the 24th floor to our original space on the 25th. With our new space, we not only have more room to accommodate our rapidly growing team, but we’ve also created a welcoming space that encourages collaboration and innovation for our team members, partners, and prospects alike.

Designing an office space that balances form, function, and fun is no easy task. Here, AppDirect’s Creative Director, Ben Domanico, describes how he and his team accomplished just that while still remaining true to the values that are at the foundation of AppDirect.

When you heard that AppDirect was expanding its offices, what did you think? Did you have any concerns?

I was excited that we’d be getting more space. Our company has been growing so fast and we definitely need it. But, I was also concerned that we would be going from an ideal situation, where everyone was on one floor, to being spread out across two. We had to make deliberate choices to make sure that didn’t impact our company culture.

What were some of the design decisions that helped maintain the focus on company culture?

First and foremost, we built a main staircase to connect our two floors. We were very lucky that the floor below our original space was available, but unless you physically connect them with a stairs, it might as well be 10 floors away. The staircase allows us to treat two floors as one office, instead of having it feel like two offices on two floors with two different teams. We still have one kitchen, one main dining area, and one entrance. These elements encourage our team to move around and interact with each other in ways that wouldn’t be possible if we built two of everything connected by elevators.

Staircase.jpgHow did you prioritize the list of wants and needs for the new space?

When we first started thinking about the new floor, we had two competing sides. One was the ever-growing list of features people wanted, like a big conference room, a game room, a coffee bar, and those types of spaces. On the other side, we had to consider how to comfortably accommodate as much headcount as we could. These sides eat into each other’s space, so we had to rank what our priorities really were. It was difficult, but we did it and ended up with a good balance. We settled on more conference rooms, space where people could break away from their desks and work, and better space for relaxing. We wanted to enhance the office experience for our team members and visitors, and I think we achieved that.

How does the new office space reflect AppDirect’s brand and values?

The new office is tightly linked to our visual identity. The color of the walls, the metal, the hardwood, all of it looks very AppDirect. I think the design also reflects what makes our brand so powerful, namely a commitment to service, innovation, and great design. Overall, the look and feel of the office is very modern and it has a lot of great features, but it aligns with who we are as a company. It’s not ostentatious, there’s no firepole. It’s just a really comfortable, professional place where you can be productive. I’m really proud of what we were able to achieve in the design and build out.

Gretchen Dukowitz is AppDirect’s Communications Editor.