Studio O+A Helps Aol Hit Refresh: Sleek HQ reflects online giant's new program of innovation and renewal

Hitting “refresh” at every level of the company, Aol moved its West Coast headquarters to a new 79,850 square foot space in Palo Alto. Studio O+A's design translates the company's values - transparency, collaboration, creativity, playfulness - into the work environment.

O+A returned the existing space from dark cubicles to a clean, white canvas—exposed the ceilings, stripped the walls and generally sought a spatial equivalent of the transparency that Aol was bringing to all aspects of its business. Key to this approach was the concept of “honest materiality”— the embrace of materials and processes that originate in the construction industry and that often provide the finish motifs for modern workplace design.

The result is a space that communicates what it is made of and how it was built. O+A’s floor plan emphasizes, as well, collaborative space—a move from segregated private offices to open workstations and the collegiality of shared environments. Aol's new office demonstrates an increasingly important trend in workspace design: the blurring boundaries between work and play.

Tech company staffers expect to spend long hours at their computers. Their work environment must therefore assume the properties of a studio: areas for relaxation, areas for creative interaction, room for spontaneity, a comfortable place to eat. Our design facilitates the kind of creativity that emerges from feeling at home in your surroundings.

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