Skype recently hired architecture and interior design firm Blitz to renovate their current 54,000 sq ft space in Palo Alto. Their primary goal was to create a world-class office that would differentiate themselves from their Bay Area competitors. Ultimately, they want to recruit the best talent in the field.
The new space reflects Skype’s spirit of innovation in a highly functional yet creative workplace designed to encourage interaction and spontaneity. Specific acoustic requirements were made in order to support the audio and video capabilities of their 250 employees. The project is seeking LEED Silver certification.
The concentration zones (workstation areas) are pushed to the building perimeter and benefit from natural light and lower noise levels. Collaboration zones (meeting rooms, coffee kiosks, white board areas) are centered along main access spines on each level encouraging staff to literally "meet in the middle." Contemplation spaces are interspersed in the form of overlapping casual lounges.
Skype's boardroom is clad in salvaged flavors sticks - once added to wine barrels to infuse oak flavors.
Mobile white boards (“skype-its”) are stationed throughout the space and provide multiple opportunities for informal team meetings or just random thought capture.
The unique design of the pods incorporates a metal ceiling deck that serves as structural diaphragm, finished ceiling, and noise reducer.