- 2020 HONOREE
- Work Large
Director of Projects
Project Designer – Brand
Design Director – Brand
Moore & Giles
Lucifer, Vode, Allied Maker, Ravenhill, Rich Brilliant Willing, Roll & Hill, Lumen Alpha, Luminii, Hunza, Boca, KKDC, Lithonia, Iguzzini, Fluxwerx, Lumenpulse
Gary Bell and Associates
The Fire Consultants
About the Project
When Slack asked O+A to create its new multi-floor headquarters in San Francisco one design story presented itself immediately. Slack’s CEO Stewart Butterfield is an outdoorsman, a hiker who goes off grid every year and recharges in the various types of wilderness desert, mountains, forest—that make up the Pacific Crest Trail. Because that trail forms a bridge between two of Slack’s offices in Vancouver and San Francisco it seemed a thematic link too rich to pass up. O+A’s concept was to create a floor-by-floor evocation of those landscapes—in effect to turn a trip up the elevator into a virtual trip from Baja to the Pacific Northwest. The idea was to suggest not just a variety of topographical and botanical contexts, but to capture, as well, the experiential links between hiking a wilderness trail—and work.
Slack’s team saw a value in having each floor reflect the variety and irregularity of nature. Just as wayfinding on a mountain trail, is often a matter of conferring with other hikers, every work day is an experience of collaborating with others to find your way to the next level. The unique configurations of each floor at Slack echo the mental stimulation—and need for community— that comes with taking a new path.
Central to O+A’s design concept was the idea that every work project, like every hike in the wilderness,
is a process of discovery. Classic interior design frames large architectural moments to attract the most eyes at once. At Slack those moments come as “scenic surprises”—like an unexpected good idea. You turn a corner and there is a wall installation that replicates the topography of Lake Tahoe in a way that seems to float in space. You walk down a pathway and there is a “starry night” room like a