Uber Mission Bay Headquarters – San Francisco

Wellbeing, flexibility, and a choice in work settings were key elements in the human-centered design for Uber's four-building Mission Bay Headquarters in San Francisco.

  • Client Uber,
  • size 584,000 sqft
  • Year 2020
  • Location California, San Francisco, United States,
  • Industry Technology, Transportation,
  • Huntsman Architectural Group was tasked with creating an employee-centered campus for Buildings 3 and 4 of the Uber Mission Bay Headquarters in San Francisco, California.

    Each building balances active spaces for collaboration and social engagement with more calming environments for focused work and repose. Amenities are distributed to encourage movement among buildings. The campus feels united in purpose – a destination that prioritizes employee experience and exemplifies Uber’s dedication to sustainability and community.

    When Uber decided to create an employee-focused campus promoting choice, wellbeing, and connection, they turned to Huntsman Architectural Group, an award-winning interior architecture firm; that has designed meaningful workspaces that elevate the human experience for 40 years. Huntsman created a destination for employees to collaborate and socialize, developing a campus plan that features team rooms, wellness spaces, collaboration spaces, and socialization areas, strategically placed to promote interaction and movement around the campus.

    Huntsman needed to produce the right environment for the best parts of Uber – its people and ideas – to thrive in a new San Francisco destination. The design team delivered a future-forward urban campus that amplifies Uber’s values around community and identity, transparency and connectivity, and an enhanced user experience focused on inclusion and wellness. The result is a mature, centralized campus where candor and connection lead to everyone being their best self.

    As a part of a four-building superblock campus, Buildings 3 & 4 encompass two eleven-story towers totaling 584,000sf. Huntsman’s design centers on Uber’s vision of the future workplace: Places for collaboration contrasted with quiet respites for considered work. Huntsman’s design approach conveys a sense of place and the experience of wellbeing.

    The story begins with community and identity evident in the building lobbies where Huntsman deployed Uber’s evolved brand to set the tone for the user experience. The building lobbies, each with floor-to-ceiling curtain walls, visually connect and integrate with the broader community, outdoor plaza, and bustling Third Street. Other public spaces are also designed around views of the outdoors, framing Mission Bay’s unique character, including the adjacent Chase Center Arena, home to the Golden State Warriors. Landscaped roof terraces with panoramic views provide communal spaces for work, fitness, and events, further connecting users with the dynamic and unique Mission Bay neighborhood.

    Huntsman created opportunities for users to choose how to work or connect with others, or recharge. The diverse spaces throughout the campus accommodate unique user needs. Designed with physical barriers and silos removed, the workplace offers transparent and connected spaces with unobstructed sightlines to the outdoors and between floors. Open desking configurations create distinctive neighborhoods supported by a variety of enclosed spaces for training, conferences, and private phone calls. Personal autonomy and choice are reflected in the design of intuitive transitional spaces for solitary work and ancillary spaces for small group collaboration. Facing Chase Center plaza, a two-story community stadium serves as a large-group assembly and social gathering space. With comfortable bleacher seating and a state-of-the-art programmable backlit ceiling, color varies throughout the day creating a dynamic and energetic environment.

    To promote employee wellbeing and enhance the user experiences both buildings achieved LEED v4 Gold and WELL certifications. Design interventions focused on sustainability and employee wellness are the foundation of the campus ecosystem. Huntsman strategically located slab openings and interconnecting stairs to increase activity, connection, and interaction between floors. Daylighting, views to the outdoors, and biophilic interventions are distributed equitably across floors to ensure users experience wellbeing throughout the day. An array of amenity spaces throughout the floors — quiet rooms; care rooms; wellness suite; a full-service two-floor café; staffed barista coffee bar and smoothie bar; event lounge; snack rooms; pop-up food spaces; and libraries — offer employees a variety of destinations for recharging, renewal, and self-care.

    With home offices becoming part of the work ecosystem, balance is achieved by promoting innovation, culture, and community-building in a human-centric campus environment that draws people together and offers a host of work modes and amenities.

    Interior Design: Huntsman Architectural Group
    Photography: Eric Laignel