Projects

Cisco Meraki

O+A’s design for Cisco’s San Francisco office is the story of two companies: Meraki, a local maker of cloud-controlled wireless systems and Cisco, the global networking giant. When Cisco acquired Meraki, the smaller company wanted to hang onto its unique spirit and sense of identity—even as it moved into much larger quarters.

O+A’s design for Cisco’s San Francisco office is the story of two companies: Meraki, a local maker of cloud-controlled wireless systems and Cisco, the global networking giant. When Cisco acquired Meraki, the smaller company wanted to hang onto its unique spirit and sense of identity—even as it moved into much larger quarters.

  • City San Francisco, CA

  • Year 2013

  • Size 110,000 sq ft

  • Team Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Clem Soga, Steve Gerten, Elizabeth Guerrero, Chase Lunt, Alma Lopez, Caren Currie, Sarunya Wongjodsri, Justin Ackerman, David Hunter, Jeorge Jordan, Olivia Ward, Kroeun Dav, Chase Lunt, Amie Zemlicka, Alex Bautista, Maleesa Pollock, Will Chu

  • Photographer Jasper Sanidad

What Do You Like?

The first step of O+A’s programming exercise was to find out what Meraki’s team liked (and didn’t like) about their old space. O+A designers surveyed employees about how they worked and how they would like to work better. Among the preferences most frequently expressed were natural light, plenty of collaboration space and the cozy, family feeling of the old office.

Two Out of Three

The first two were relatively easy bills to fill given the 110,000 square foot expanse of the building into which Meraki was moving. Floor-to-ceiling windows flooded the space with light—and with views of San Francisco Bay. And a variety of formal and informal meeting spaces allowed collaboration to blossom wherever it might occur.

Cozy Scaled Up

The third request—that Meraki’s close-knit culture not be absorbed into the Cisco behemoth—was more of a design challenge. O+A created pockets of intimacy within the broader canvas—yurts where two or three might meet (reprising the actual Mongolian yurt at Meraki’s old office), sunken seating areas that circumscribed cozy meeting spaces, outdoor seating, kitchen cabanas…

Meraki to Cisco

The result is a large, colorful space with the informality and warmth of a much smaller office. Meraki has been absorbed into Cisco, but its spirit hasn’t vanished. Instead it has helped transform the giant. O+A’s groundbreaking workplace for Meraki, now sets the standard for future office development throughout Cisco Corporate.