Square – San Francisco Headquarters

  • Client Square,
  • size 173,450 sqft
  • Year 2013
  • Location California, San Francisco, United States,
  • Industry Technology,
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has developed a new design for Square’s San Francisco Headquarters.

    Square’s new headquarters addresses evolving programmatic needs while anticipating future expansion. The company’s mission is to foster an open and fully transparent corporate culture in keeping with its startup roots; to accommodate flexible growth; and provide a variety of spaces and amenities to compete for and retain talent in a highly competitive labor market. In total, the project encompasses 175,000 square feet of usable space over four floors and aims to connect with Square’s brand at both aesthetic and functional levels, highlighting the company’s core values of modern and functional design to create a refined, seamless experience.

    Responding to both the large scale of the floor plate and the client’s request for an open workplace, the design scheme is organized using an urban metaphor. The main office floor measures the length of a city block and 100,000 square feet in area; by taking cues from urban planning, the design creates clear circulation routes with visual landmarks that break down the scale of this expansive space. Furthermore, bringing elements of the city into the office creates connections with Square’s culture and brand, as their products and services foster transactions and commerce in the urban marketplace.

    A central boulevard serves as the organizational spine for this main office floor. Lined with communal tables and cabanas, and punctuated by “civic” spaces, including a library, coffee bar, and gallery, the boulevard functions as the primary hub for team collaboration and social interaction. Individual departments are arranged into smaller neighborhoods clustered around transparent glass cubes along each side of the boulevard; conference, meeting, and phone rooms are organized into simple, sleek glass storefronts that run the length of the floor. This use of full-height glass in enclosed rooms reinforces the client’s desire for an open and fully transparent workplace.

    The perimeter zone against the windows is populated with lounge seating and communal tables that allow open and democratic access to natural daylight and views. A separate level on the upper floors houses of a full-service commercial kitchen and servery, with dining spaces also used for weekly company-wide meetings. Additionally, two of the tower’s upper floors are designed as flexible teaming areas, each complete with open office workstations, conference rooms, and lounge areas with panoramic views of San Francisco.

    Design: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
    Design Team: Gregory R. Mottola, AIA, Design Principal | Christopher Orsega, AIA, Project Manager | Michael Kross, RA, Project Architect | Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA, Founding Principal | Helene Gregoire | Shawn Wood, RA | Lena Shah | Ashley Hinton, RA | Alex Gregor | Rosa Sheng, AIA | Christina Cho | Nicholas Ruiz
    Furniture: Two
    General Contractor: BCCI Construction
    Photography: Matthew Millman