Photography Credit Jasper Sanidad.
At the outset of design development Artis Ventures, a venture capital firm in San Francisco, had four people on its staff. The design team created an office to accommodate a staff of eight and because of that size, envisioned a space that would be more like an apartment than an office. Visitors entering the space encounter, not a traditional reception area, but a wood-paneled lounge with books and a bar. Down a light-filled hallway is “the living room” with circular seating, modern light fixtures and fine art on the walls. In a bigger office the “living room” areas would likely be ancillary lounge spaces scattered around a large foot print. Here the living room is the center of the space. In an office context art on the walls often seems impersonal. Here its impact is as intimate as art on the walls of a home. Throughout the project this emphasis on the personal, the intimate prevails. The suede cubby, the paneled lounge, the living room all convey a message of warmth and comfort. At Artis even the furniture resonates. Custom-made chairs in the back are constructed from items of clothing contributed by staff, layer on layer of fabric lashed together and turned into furniture imbued with personal meaning for the users. Workstations occupy one corner of the space as a workspace would in a home.
And then there is the city’s contribution. Artis Ventures’ expansive windows open onto one of San Francisco’s liveliest intersections: the convergence of Market Street with 6th and Taylor Streets. Our design brings that energy inside. The “view” at Artis because of its location and proximity to the street is not a typical corporate, cityscape view. Like everything else in the office it is intimate, human-scaled and connected to the daily life of the neighborhood.