Last year, Nokia moved into a new Sunnyvale office building which consolidates their Silicon Valley presence from four buildings to one. The project, completed by Gensler, was meant to bring a bit of youthfulness and modernity back to the Finnish phone megacompany.
“Gensler designed [the building] for the on-the-go, all-hours workday, providing such amenities as wellness suites with daybeds and showers and ad hoc brainstorming pods scattered with beanbags. Available when employees need to use a computer too big to fit in their pocket, even the workstations are multitaskers, boasting storage units that convert into chairs for impromptu powwows.”
“Each floor contains print centres, centralized communal spaces called Hubs, and two Douglas Fir–wrapped structures dubbed the “saunas.” At the peripheries, more than 150 custom Steelcase desks are arranged into “neighbourhoods,” each associated with a different research group, and each assigned a dedicated conference space and a private phone room, which provide a quiet respite. Nearly every vertical surface is designed to be interactive.
However, it was clear on a recent visit, just after the offices opened in December, that employees were still figuring out how to use these features; on pin-up walls, they’d tacked up maps of the building, while wall-mounted monitors shouted, “Touch Me!” and whiteboard walls begged, “Draw on Me.””
Photography by Nic Lehoux