Tuesday 28 Feb 2017
London-based architecture and interiors practice Jump Studios (a Populous Company) has designed the first UK office for Internet performance and security company Cloudflare in London. The company, headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the fastest-growing start-ups in the world and is classified as a Unicorn1 company.
Working closely with Cloudflare, Jump Studios’ design transformed a former paper factory in London’s Southwark area into a bright, efficient space.
As a rapidly expanding company, Cloudflare required an office that could accommodate a rapidly growing workforce and future development. They also desired a workspace modelled around Cloudflare’s curiosity for how things work. Jump Studios’ design delivers a space that is flexible and can be adapted to provide additional capacity for future expansion.
The refurbished 7,000 square foot office includes around 100 desks with large social areas connected to the outside terrace space. The central area of the office is a form of ‘spine’ constructed out of OSB (Oriented-strand board) which weaves throughout the office. This spine maintains physical and visual connectivity throughout the floor and forms walls, rooms, storage and shelving units for Cloudflare to display tools, gadgets, books and awards. Informal meeting spaces sit within and around the spine for employees to relax and hold meetings in throughout the day. Larger work desks surround the central area and encourage collaborative working.
A flexible, 40-capacity auditorium extends from the spine and includes a step seating area and projection screen positioned on the North side. Two curtain rails spanning the width of the space allow for the area to be broken up for varied uses. A larger eight-person board room is hidden behind the auditorium beneath the steps.
Jump Studios have exposed the ‘bones’ of the building, stripping it back to its core elements. The design utilises durable materials including concrete, metal and plywood. In the kitchen, stained OSB and plywood tables are coupled with vintage Scandinavian furniture sourced by Chase & Sorensen, an industrial ode to the building’s original purpose. Jump Studios has incorporated Cloudflare’s brand colour orange into the grouting, giving traditional construction details a fun but purposeful twist. Much of the furniture is bespoke, including the custom-made desks, which have powder-coated metal legs with lacquered-plywood tops, accessible panels and cable management.
Go Sugimoto, Senior Associate at Jump Studios said: ‘‘Cloudflare has a collection of very bright, creative people working for them including scientists, engineers and mathematicians. The brand’s curiosity for exploring how things work was a great starting point for coming up with our design strategy. We knew that along with serving a very practical purpose of housing Cloudflare’s UK employees, the space had to engage and inspire. We also wanted it to reflect the history of the converted space.’’
Simon Jordan, Co-Founder of Jump Studios said: ‘‘Cloudflare represent the kind of company and challenge we relish; a dynamic, fast moving, high growth company with a strong sense of identity and the desire to encapsulate this in a high performance, functional yet attractive work space.’’
Jump Studios was deliberate in incorporating major elements of the Cloudflare ethos into their design, including a feature ’graphic wall’ that has been programmed to showcase live information from the Internet using both LED and 2D graphics. They also used the unconventional design of visible, ‘nomadic’ coils to run the electric and data cords to work desks. Rather than the standard method of having IT wires coming from under the desk, these coils shoot down into the workspace, referencing the company’s tech involvement, while adding colour and creating a ‘garage-industrial’ feel.
“Jump Studios was an integral partner in our quest to design a workspace that truly catered to our team,” said Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder of Cloudflare. “We asked them to help create an inspiring, fresh, and energizing office that retains the spirit of Cloudflare’s global team, all with a unique twist inspired by our London-based employees.”