Inside Kixeye’s San Francisco Gaming Headquarters

  • Client Kixeye,
  • size 50,000 sqft
  • Year 2013
  • Location California, San Francisco, United States,
  • Industry Gaming,
  • After outgrowing their previous office space, online gaming company KIXEYE recently transitioned to a new office designed to be physically, functionally, and culturally supportive for their growing staff. Designed by Rapt Studio, the new office spans 3 floors and 50,000 sqft at 333 Bush Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District.

    Gaming Culture

    At the foundation of KIXEYE’s office is the idea that it be supportive of the culture. Brandon Barber, the company’s CMO believes this to be of the highest importance. “At a high level, the design of our space needs to reflect the games-centric passion that exists in all of our employees.” One easy way of supporting this need was to add rooms where staff can relax and play games, but it goes deeper than that.

    KIXEYE SF_02The moment you step off the elevator, you’re immersed into an environment that is a mixture of geek culture and sci-fi homage.  In fact, you’re literally in a new environment – a military bunker – complete with a uniformed guard and looping alarms and contamination alerts.

    “The design team connected a spacecraft / mothership concept to the space, taking inspiration from places such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the situation room in Dr. Strangelove.” Rapt Studio’s Joseph White explains, “The entryway is an experience which sets the tone for the entire office as being a tongue-in-cheek and fun.”

    Supportive Design

    Once through the entry, the style quickly transitions to become what Barber believes is a workplace that moves to the background and allows you to get work done without thinking about it.

    KIXEYE SF_70In moving to the new office, Rapt Studio worked with KIXEYE to evaluate company processes and bake them into the design. The open and collaborative environment works to assist with the company’s Agile Development methodology by allowing teams to quickly share information or huddle together to solve a problem.

    Writeable surfaces throughout the offices give valuable real estate for impromptu brainstorming and team collaboration, which often happen at daily stand-up meetings. Rapt Studio notes,

    “Nearly all interior walls are writable; sliding white board panels define space and allow multiple teams to utilize the same area at different times throughout the day – by assigning boards to groups the work can stay in the area and can be picked up at the next meeting.”

    Employees can also take advantage of the offices various meeting rooms which range from small phone rooms, to small semi-private zones, or traditional conference style rooms.

    Form and Function

    As visually stimulating as KIXEYE is, the functional nature of the space is not lost but instead a central element to its design. One important detail is the abundance of natural light and views throughout the office, which are preserved so that both are available from most areas in the office.

    Rapt Studio’s James Pollet explained that the design also connects the physical space with the furnishings. Angled table legs and Y-backed seating plays nicely with the angles of beams throughout the office. Acoustic ceiling panels, a must for open office environments, mirror the placement of the tables creating a visual connection between the two.

    The office also has a cafeteria space where employees can take a break or refuel – something that is surely needed given KIXEYE’s work-hard, play-hard culture.

    Design: Rapt Studio
    Photography: Eric Laignel