• 2019 HONOREE
  • Work Small

Goodwater Capital Office

Atelier Cho Thompson

Design Team

Atelier Cho Thompson

Christina Cho Yoo


Ming Thompson


Mikaela Leo


Minji Seol


Ken Yip


Extended Partners

General Contractors

Brandon Merlino
OPI Builders
Project Manager
Adam Marrs


Art, Seiko Tachibana &
Minji Seol
Custom Furniture
Creative Wood & Manual


Alicia Cho

Furniture Manufacturers

Herman Miller
Bacco, Menu
JL Moller

Consultants, Engineers,

Lighting Consultant,
Electrolight Design SF
Acoustical Consultant
Charles M. Salter &
Associates, Inc.
Mechanical Design
Engineer, Engineering350




Madsen Builders
Concrete Flooring &
Carpet Installation
RE Cuddie
Ceiling, T3 Inc. & ACGI
Great Spaces
Fabric Walls
Wallcovering Designs
Storefronts &
BV Doors, Inc.
Superior Tile & Stone

About the Project

Goodwater Capital has the mission to empower and nurture entrepreneurs who would change the world. They operate with values of integrity, transparency, and humility, reinforced at multiple scales of design — from logo, business card, infographics, presentation templates, to custom furniture, signage, interior design, and architecture — all addressed holistically by a single design firm. As a next-generation VC firm, Goodwater asked for an office that neither looked like a financial firm nor a startup, hinting to elements of a residence, cafe, and library, departing from the neutral palette and compartmentalization of typical VC firms.

The core tenets of service and accessibility were reinforced through the floor plan. Instead of entering a conventional reception area, the visitor enters into a Coffee Bar and Library, providing a welcoming reception. Blurring boundaries of typologies to innovate spaces achieved seemingly contradictory goals. This 6000-sf office possessed the gravitas appropriate to a financial firm while achieving the intimacy of a home, the focus of a library, and the unique character of a cafe. The transparent Founders Offices located next to common spaces also provided privacy for confidential meetings via switchglass technology. The Library functioned as a quiet work area while also serving as an meeting space.

The constraints of a small footprint requiring many use cases necessitated multifunctional spaces, never to compromise an elevated aesthetic or functionality in the name of flexibility. Hidden storage was skillfully integrated into a living Library wall, while integrating a monitor for meetings. The entry coffee bar space functions as a cafe, an event staging space, and an everyday kitchenette for the employees. The architect collaborated iteratively with the client to test the success of such hybrid spaces. During the design process, scenarios were setup in the temporary office and employees surveyed on preferences.

Client Statement

Our employees love working in the office, which was designed very well to accommodate a variety of work styles and use cases. The combination of well-designed working space and natural features like the plant wall create a relaxing, welcoming space which captures our brand and inspires our employees. We are proud to invite our clients, investors, and friends to visit and use our offices. Visitors find the space welcoming and breathtaking all at the same time.

The design team worked with us from the very beginning of our firm’s launch – designing the logo, identifying office space, architecting it for our ideal use case, selecting furniture and ultimately designing a space that was cohesive and resonant with our brand. The whole team took the time to deeply understand our firm’s mission and build a physical space that reinforced our mission and values. In alignment with our brand values of integrity, transparency, service, and quality, the office communicates the stability of a finance firm while achieving the intimacy of a residence, the focus of a library, the calming effect of a garden, and the informality and warm welcoming nature of a cafe one would want to frequent.

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