Slack San Francisco Office

Designed by: Studio O+A
For client: www.slack.com Floor area: 27870.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Large Office of the Year

Slack 6 W 4
© Garrett Rowland

On the 6th floor elevated platforms and custom ceiling treatments by Commercial Casework combine with lighting design by Niteo to replicate the dappled effect of hiking behind a waterfall.

About the Project

When Slack asked O+A to create a new multi-floor headquarters in San Francisco one design story presented itself immediately. Slack’s CEO is an avid outdoorsman, a hiker who goes off grid every year to recharge in wilderness environments. One of his goals for the space was that it generate the kind of cooperative spirit and resourcefulness he knew from interactions with fellow hikers. Our solution was to create a floor-by-floor evocation of the landscapes that make up the Pacific Crest Trail—desert, mountains, forest—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.

To replicate indoors the distinctly outdoor experience of hiking a trail our team of designers chose a succession of finishes and palettes that subtly suggest changing landscapes. They also structured the space to emphasize irregular paths of travel, opportunities for surprise and amenities with the inclusive spontaneity of a campsite.

What’s unique about it

Central to our concept for Slack was the idea that every work project, like every hike, 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 climaxes”—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 stage set from a Sam Shepard play. You take your laptop to a lounge area and the light changes according to the time of day. In every instance the beauty is a reward for effort, a reinforcement of the idea that she who ventures away from her desk makes the most of her workday.

Hikers know that a favorite trail is never the same place twice. At different times of year and as the years progress, it changes, offering new pleasures and new challenges every time. Our design for Slack builds that capacity for change into the workspace. Every floor is equipped to adapt to the changing needs of a single work session or a months-long project. Like a natural setting, this setting inspired by nature welcomes what the day brings and reaches out to meet it.

Slack 6 W 7
© Garrett Rowland

Every O+A space offers options for working away from your desk—and not just lounge furniture adjacent to workstations. Here a comfortable corner takes you inside the opening of a rockface, again behind that waterfall.

Studio Oa Slack 2 1733
© Garrett Rowland

Slack’s lobby is the “base camp” for the whole building. Tent-like structures allow for short meetings—or meditation—before ascending to the floors above.

Studio Oa Slack 2 1609 2
© Garrett Rowland

The Volcano Tea Lounge is one of many destinations throughout the building that invites users from other floors. Finishes are dark, rugged, and uneven. Glazed brick tiles are inspired by volcanic rock waves. The copper accents used to create a ceiling str

Slack 7 F 5
© Garrett Rowland

Taking inspiration from Fairy Rings, the natural growth pattern of the large redwoods on the Pacific Crest Trail, communal lounges are both semi-private and inviting.

Studio Oa Slack 2 2009
© Garrett Rowland

The 10th floor is the summit floor. Stairs lead to a mezzanine through steel arches that mimic mountain peaks and the last steep part of a trail went you climb into the clouds.

Studio Oa Slack 2 0950
© Garrett Rowland

In the summit mezzanine white-washed wood warms up the space while keeping a feeling of a bright snowy palette. This space overlooking the Salesforce Park has been created as the executive briefing center but is used as a very communal space for Happy H

Studio Oa Slack 2 0404
© Garrett Rowland

The greens and herbs in this garden are edible. Employees are encouraged to pick them and use in food preparation.

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© Garrett Rowland

A space just off the elevator lobby provides an informal meeting place for people on their way to lunch. It’s also ideal for working away from your desk. The Superfab truss structure frames an ombre custom-painted wall by Julie Stonehouse depicting the fo

Slack 5 Ml 2 P
© Garrett Rowland

Slack’s library draws inspiration from the bridge structures that cross mountain lakes and streams along the trail. Private cubbies, study carrels, as well as bookshelves that are lined with custom art work—and books!—were a collaboration with Superfab De

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