Financial Investment Firm

The design of this Silicon Valley office conveys the sophistication and seriousness of the venture capital world, while still engaging with the firm’s clients in a warm and welcoming space.

The team was asked to design the Menlo Park office for a global technology financial investment firm. Their goal was to convey a sense of warmth and comfort coupled with sophistication and seriousness that moved away from the plush carpet and overstuffed chairs of prior build-outs that the VC world was known for. They wanted the design of their Sand Hill Road office to be modern yet still familiar and welcoming. The space should put people at ease while also conveying seriousness and new approaches to venture capital financing. The resulting design conveys those values thru spatial organization, material selection, and detail execution.

Expression of these goals begins at the entry where arrival spaces are divided between a light filled seating area with welcoming rich materials and a texture filled reception and circulation zone. Linear walnut ceiling panels and lighting lead the visitor to the reception desk and conference rooms while a vertical slat wall separates private offices and breakout spaces from waiting visitors and ongoing meetings. Site lines and interior acoustics are actively managed to keep sensitive information private, while still promoting a warm and open work environment. The open studio and break out areas includes comfortable and modern bench seating open to a break room area and kitchen with extensive snack display. A brightly colored banquette introduces informal seating in the living room open work space.

Sleek lines and rich wood tones are balanced with concrete columns, exposed ceilings, and warm pops of color throughout. The industrial ceiling structure and concrete columns are left raw in keeping with the more playful startup aesthetic, but also to play off the refinement of the newer materials. Textures such as patterned felt walls are comfortable but professional while reducing ambient noise. Dark-stained ribbed bamboo walls bring in rich texture, geometric materiality, and are environmentally friendly in deliberate contrast with the tight grained light wood flooring. Full height glass in the private offices allows natural light to reach the central breakout spaces, while custom acoustic treatments help to isolate sounds. With a design that is both modern and familiar, this office breaks away from the idea of a traditional venture capitalist firm to embrace a contemporary mix of materials and textures.