A site-specific expression of brand and innovation.

Branding, Strategy, Environment

For their new tech hub in San Francisco, Bloomberg wanted to create a space that embodied their status as an established and innovative technology company. There would be no ping-pong tables, silkscreened inspirational posters, or playroom-inspired solutions. The space had to reflect their status as an established leader amidst all the various tech companies in the Bay Area.

Situated on the 22nd and 23rd floor of the art deco-era 140 New Montgomery building, Iwamoto Scott’s space honors its history yet is also a bespoke environment, modern and sophisticated. Volume was asked to extend the narrative of the space through a visual identity that included wayfinding and environmental graphics. The solution is an instance of “site-specific branding” by taking cues from both the Bloomberg brand and the actual space—in terms of where the office is located (city / neighborhood), the physical architecture (old and new), and the inventive, research-based activities happening in it.

The tech hub is a laboratory of science and art: its occupants take the data Bloomberg is so famous for mining and attempt to create new uses and applications. This intersection is visually embodied in the Platonic solids, symbols from ancient Greek times that were thought to be the base material of the physical world while also having spiritual and symbolic significance. Meeting room names are derived from this system and visually play out most prominently as distraction banding. These solids “unfold” in tessellating horizontal bands that speak to both the concrete world (white vinyl) and the creative potential of that world (translucent vinyl).

Historical precedents were used for inspirational vignettes that are silkscreened in metallic gold on steel panels and attached to the existing concrete columns. Sample vignettes include a diagram of how one person’s eye moved when viewing the Nefertiti bust, one of Darwin’s Origin of the Species charts, and an infographic that compares the size of an organism against its life span. These vignettes are fodder in which to motivate future accomplishments.

Through extensive research we identified key local research-based discoveries and accomplishments throughout history, imprinting them (with their distance from the office) on small plaques distributed throughout each floor on the existing brick.
We commissioned James Edmondson of Oh No to create a custom number set inspired by the building's history (left). Meeting rooms are identified not only by their names, but also a data-driven GPS location (right).
A system of clips on the wall facing the reception desks allows the employees to post information about events (Today, Soon) and more whimsical, inspirational content (Always).
    Recognition
  • Core 77 Design Awards
  • Communication Arts Design Awards
  • Fast Company Innovation in Design Awards
  • Graphis Design
  • Print Regional Design Awards best in region
  • SEGD Honor Award

An elegant and not-expected design solution for a corporate headquarters. It gives careful consideration to honoring both historical precedent and technological advancements, while harmoniously working within the building’s material finish palette. A successful precedent for what a corporate interior can be.

SEGD Design Awards Jury