Microsoft’s sales group was searching for a new office environment as it transitioned from its standard private office program to a modern open “workplace” occupied by unassigned seating. The client incorporated this new plan into the redesign of the PacWest space in downtown Bellevue, WA. Challenges for the design team included incorporating acoustically sensitive materials throughout the space to help with the transition between the private and open office environment, creating an office environment that inspired team collaboration while maintaining areas of privacy, and to create a space more boutique in terms of size and feel.
With an ever-changing work culture in technology, Microsoft wanted their employees to feel at home in their new space, making it their preferred working site. To do this, GGLO/Studio 8 blended Microsoft’s strong appreciation of nature and technology with a modern, hospitality-like aesthetic featuring ambiguous color, unconventional patterns and materials and acoustically creative solutions to break up the expansive floorplate while also providing sound absorption. Color, large scale graphics and decorative screening elements supplied wayfinding throughout the space and created “neighborhoods” for different groups. Locally sourced Doulas Fir wood slats act as the repeated screening element throughout, displaying quotes that spark conversation among groups.
Microsoft also implemented a Seattle-based MTC (Microsoft Technology Center) on the floor level above. The customer floor is meant to act as a high-impact space with an immersive, state-of-the-art Commercial Sales Center. The design focuses on “bringing the outside in” with wood and stone finishes playing against an industrial material backdrop of concrete, metal and glass. The richness of the lobby is found in the contrast of materials in both color and texture.
A refined yet engaging atmosphere encourages interaction within the sales community while still acting as a premier technology showcase for customers.