999 Brannan, San Francisco

Designed by: Airbnb Environments
For client: Airbnb Floor area: 14000.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Large Office of the Year

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© Mariko Reed

Exterior, celebrating the original glass block envelope

About the Project

The Airbnb Environments team believes that communicating our brand comes not from the application of our logo, but rather something much more experiential. We believe that an environment should not tell you *where* you work, it should tell you *why* you work

To this end, 3 concepts guided 999
1. Our hosts and their spaces: Our conference rooms take inspiration from actual Airbnb listings, and at 999, one enters through a gallery-like tunnel of these recreations. This physicalizes the experience of scrolling through the Airbnb app: your body becomes your thumb, scrolling through the homes on Airbnb

2. Seriously fun: We believe that while the office should feel fun, it should primarily further the business purpose. In 999, we designed a boat that houses nooks for individual work. While visually clever, it also reflects the theme of the floor (Amsterdam), and acts as a visual lure, inviting one to move deeper into the space

3. Belong Anywhere: To humanize the modern office condition, 999 takes an urbanistic approach and organizes the population into intimate, community-driven neighborhoods. These allow tighter team cohesion and a sense of place. Each neighborhood is composed of a kit of parts and is supported by a variety of alternative spaces, facilitating employees to work in a variety of settings. Airbnb removed the expectation that “work” happens at a desk; as such employees feel a real sense of freedom that makes atypical office space primary instead of extraneous

What’s unique about it

Airbnb connects individuals from around the world through unique accommodations and experiences. The company links adventure, opportunity and global citizenship, and as the Environments Team, we strive to embody this in our offices. This is the largest single project that we have developed to date, and it takes the ideas we explored in our previous work and intensifies them into an immersive narrative experience that starts at the front door and ends on the 4th floor.

We stripped the space to its bare bones — by removing every non-structural element of the building, we fundamentally changed the experience, circulation and material palette of the interior. The challenge with this project was not to reinvent, but instead to reveal the essential qualities of the building by emphasizing and articulating its core framework. The resulting design breaks free from the previous layout (which blocked out all natural light), and instead harnesses light from the original glass envelope, using at a wayfinding device.

The team is composed of 16 neighborhoods, each of which contains desk space, three phone rooms, personal storage, and a 15-30 person garage (a meeting room that can be adapted according to necessities by opening and closing a room divider with a garage door mechanism). Other areas include The Castle (pinewood strips at the center of the building dramatize the verticality of the atrium and the connectivity between floors) and The Boat (a highly functional office object).

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© Mariko Reed

"Listing Row": The entry sequence physicalizes the experience of scrolling through the Airbnb app

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© Mariko Reed

A moment of calm, visually cleansing the visitor prior to entering the atrium.

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© Mariko Reed

The atrium acts as the heart of the building, organizing it on a hub-and-spoke parti.

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© Mariko Reed

Pinewood strips dramatize the verticality of the atrium and the connectivity between floors.

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© Mariko Reed

Primary forms insert function into the atrium. Here, we see reception, waiting, a stage & dining.

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© Mariko Reed

The Boat provides both function and whimsy.

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© Mariko Reed

Pulling the boat into the atrium creates a visual lure, enticing visitors up into the building.

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© Mariko Reed

The open office space benefits from the glass block envelope.

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© Mariko Reed

The glass block both filters light and provides privacy from the exterior.

Location of project:

NOVO Construction

The Good Mod

PritchardPeck Inc.


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