Projects

395 Page Mill

Because of its location outside of Palo Alto’s main business district, Aol wanted a headquarters that would be self-sustaining, not only in the practical sense of providing essential amenities to its staff of over 300, but also in the larger sense of promoting its own continued growth and renewal.

Because of its location outside of Palo Alto’s main business district, Aol wanted a headquarters that would be self-sustaining, not only in the practical sense of providing essential amenities to its staff of over 300, but also in the larger sense of promoting its own continued growth and renewal.

  • City Palo Alto, CA

  • Year 2011

  • Size 80,000 sq ft

  • Team Primo Orpilla, Perry Stephney, Denise Cherry, Clem Soga, David Hunter, Liz Guerrero, Albert Claxton, Justin Ackerman, Sarunya Wongjodsri, Caren Currie, Jeorge Jordan, Will Chu

  • Photographer Jasper Sanidad

The End of Fortress HQ

O+A’s solution was to break away from the traditional Silicon Valley fortress headquarters and reach out to the community. By making the ground floor a shared concourse of like-minded small businesses and retail operations this design recognized the potential for spontaneous interaction in people of different interests going to work by way of a common path.

Inspired by Thrasher

And with Aol in the process of a company-wide refresh, O+A envisioned a design that embraced athleticism and a healthy lifestyle—the culture of getting back into shape. The lobby included a sweeping, half-pipe-shaped reception area, a nod to the skating craze that was popping in the 1980s when Aol was born.

Bocce, Barbecue, Bikes, Baristas

O+A’s design made good use of the ample outdoor space at 395 Page Mill. A sunny deck area became a place for al fresco entertaining (or al fresco work) and a bocce court for unwinding. The bike rental kiosk in the main lobby and the Blue Bottle Coffee Shop nearby added to the conviviality.

Lobby as Campus

While the spaces where Aol’s private work gets done remain private (upstairs away from the common areas), the campus entrance at 395 Page Mill ensures its users become part of a community simply by showing up for work.

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