SOMA / San Francisco, California
Airbnb HQ is one of the first private office buildings in the city to be opened to the public. The design is conceived to elevate the Airbnb brand concept to create an urban impact while created a building-wide amenity to share between the tenants of 888 Brannan.
Located in an emerging neighborhood of the city, the design represents both architecturally and experientially, the way that a networked narrative can manifest as a spatial concept, and stimulates the spirit of exploration of the public-private boundary.
This concept goes beyond creating an inspirational and functional workspace to also create a socially vibrant liminal space that establishes a definitive local community experience, thereby creating an impression of the values of Airbnb by way of an immersive exploration of 888 Brannan to find the Three Hidden Rooms.
The design of the public space processes share-culture through an informal sequence of expanded threshold conditions that are left loosely open to challenge the explorer to poke their nose in and around the building.
This allows guests and office workers to experience the excitement, uncertainty, and fear of sharing space, slowly developing their own individual image of what ‘Share-Culture’ is and how it can potentially improve their lived experience.
The immediate region of SOMA around the building experienced rapid conversion into new office and retail space, with bars, cafes and small markets slowly emerging. An influx of new office workers and shoppers initially attracted fantastic food trucks to the block, but there were very few places to take a moment to enjoy your meal with the same spirited ad hoc appropriation of space.
To engage the public and stimulate community interaction with the concept of culture, we integrated an exhibition of the original Airbnb listings reconstructed as meeting rooms around an open eating area, and ‘hid’ several public rooms within the Airbnb HQ workspace for Airbnb to share with the public… 1/ a gallery space, 2/ an auditorium, and 3/ a library on share-culture…
The workplace becomes a form of ‘transmedia’ for the experience of share culture, with key moments of the design performing as pieces in the game to find the shareable gems in this new socio-ecology.
Where are they (?) → go poke around and ask!
Interior Architecture / San Francisco, CA
AS / IS
Colin Billings, Dominique Price
Office AS / IS Team
Airbnb HQ / 888 Brannan completed with Gensler, SF