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Skype Redesigns its California Offices | Office Design


With all the competition in creativity everywhere, workspaces are taking a new direction in terms of design and function. Just as we saw how Facebook and Google tackled their office designs, Skype followed in their lead.

Great companies are realizing more and more the importance of employee comfort and sense of security in order to give out the best he/she can. I am proud to say We have been working on a project here in Kuwait which is focusing in promoting creativity and standards barely met in the region before , details to come at a later stage. But for now let’s take a look at Skype’s revamped Headquarters in Palto Alto, California designed by Blitz.

Skype’s primary goal was to create a world-class office that would differentiate them from their Bay Area competitors in the recruitment of talent. The project entailed a tenant improvement of 54,000 square feet of existing office space to support 250 employees involved in high technology development.

The space reflects Skype’s spirit of innovation in a highly functional yet creative workplace designed to encourage interaction and spontaneity, as well as meet specific acoustic requirements in support of their extensive use of AV. The project is registered for and seeking LEED Silver certification.

The 54,000-square-feet space warehouse-style exposed ceilings run 16-feet height were designed in a way  to increase interaction among the company’s 250 employees. In the photos you will notice the urban apartment feel given to each separate area with comfortable, multi colored lounges, an open cafeteria,and game areas. Meeting rooms, however,  have been soundproofed to reduce noise level and to ensure privacy during client meetings


The concentration zones (workstation areas) are pushed to the building perimeter and benefit from natural light and lower noise levels. Collaboration zones (meeting rooms, coffee kiosks, white board areas) are centered along main access spines on each level encouraging staff to literally ‘meet in the middle’. Contemplation spaces are interspersed in the form of overlapping casual lounges.

In order to incorporate the client’s needs, Blitz undertook extensive user-group surveying and researched workspace typology to understand their culture.

Skype implements Scrum development (iterative idea generation) and a philosophy called ‘Agile Thinking’ (the affect of environment on thought process). This, according to Blitz, is supported by  creating a variety of environments and movable white boards to “capture” ideas as they occur, this is what the call “Skype-Its”.


Skype’s ultimate goal in their office design was to encourage collaboration, contemplation, and concentration among its 250 member staff. Judging by these photos, I think Blitz have tackled every aspect to achieve that and more.


One response

  1. Nice, but still looks a bit unfinished to me.. That being said, I like how companies are realizing how important workplace environment is to productivity.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

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