A lot of big companies these days focus on offering their employees a very cozy and friendly work environment infused with tons of playful elements such as slides and game features. However, that’s not always the case.
LinkedIn’s New York office occupies the 22nd to the 28th floors of the Empire State Building and its design is a bit different from the rest. The company chose a more mature approach and a more sophisticated and simple design.
The 33,005 square foot workspace was designed by IA Interior Architects and images by Eric Laignel, a company which translates its clients goals and needs into powerful projects designed around people. Its design approach is intelligent and meant to inspire dialogue and collaboration. The team’s goal is to help clients articulate their business strategies and core values with the dynamic use of space.
This departure from the typical playfulness displayed by other similar projects, however, does not mean the work spaces here are austere and impersonal. The LinkedIn offices include a variety of amenities such as a cafe, a screening room with video game consoles, a fitness room and a biliards lounge.
The inspiration for this project came from the surrounding city but the architects refused to include any cliches in their design. As a result, a new and customized design was created, one that mimics the old-school social and business clubs.
A distinctive feature is a lounge hidden behind a wall of 133 vintage phones. One of the phones is the key to entering the lounge. When it is picked up and then put back, the phone unlatches the door. This is like a secret code only those chosen get to use. Of course, everyone in the LinkedIn office have access here, being able to call this particular phone in case they forget which one it is.
The wall décor throughout the office spaces varies. In one place you can find the LinkedIn logo spelled out in photos of New York City architecture. Another wall is covered with framed black and white portraits of the employees’ pets.
The individual offices and meeting rooms are wallpapered with pixelated Google street view shots of New York City streets. Some of these areas are even named after small and obscure streets from different areas of the city.
The conference/ meeting rooms can be organized into two categories. Some are more formal and have sombre designs with glazed walls and neutral color palettes while others are casual and more colorful. A few of them are named after movie stars from famous films shot in the Empire State Building such as Meg Ryan from Sleepless in Seattle or King Kong.
One of the informal meeting areas is bright red, featuring curtains, a carpet, furniture and a light fixture in this color. It’s a cozy and, at the same time, sophisticated space where employees can carry out conversations or meet to discuss projects.
A very bright shade of blue was used for the entire central lift lobby. The design is very simple but the selected color allows it to stand out and to add drama to the office overall.
The work spaces on the 28th floor form a cluster of height-adjustable desks. Employees can use them as standing desks whenever they feel like they’ve become too sedentary and can choose to adjust their work environment to best suit their posture and body.
The offices of the marketing and sales teams are designed with plenty of open spaces and comfortable seating areas which employees can use while talking on the phone with clients. They usually move around a lot and their work spaces were designed around this detail.
The office decorating strategies used throughout are diverse. In some cases the décor is fun and friendly, in other cases it’s cozy using fireplaces and wallpaper to create a comfortable ambiance while there are also cases where a more formal approach was chosen.