Valve's new headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, consists of 12,590 m2 of office and amenity space spanning 9 consecutive floors for over 500 employees. The company's steady growth and recent expansion into VR (virtual reality) and hardware development prompted the popular video game developer to relocate to the newly completed Lincoln Square, a 31-story mixed-use development just down the street from their previous offices.
Valve's primary goals were to support growth, attract and retain top talent, and foster collaboration. Although creative and playful, their workforce is seasoned and sophisticated, and the company wanted the design and materials to reflect that. Working with a Bellevue-based Executive Architect, the Design Team implemented a dynamic design solution that incorporated flexible workspace for the company’s software and hardware departments with a cafeteria, café spaces, gym and shower facilities, audio suites, a merchandise display room, a motion capture room, and multiple children's and family play rooms.
Building on Valve’s deep-rooted cabal system of self-organized, multidisciplinary project teams, the new workplace is supported by a variety of open and enclosed collaboration spaces. The flexible and interactive floor plan allows project teams to expand and contract as necessary around specific production needs. The cabals combine dedicated meeting spaces with semi-enclosed work pods that provide additional privacy for more “heads-down” work. More importantly, the circulation path supports the free flow of people moving throughout the office as well as the free flow of work-desks-on-wheels, as developers are constantly moving between the cabals to travel from team to team.
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