Project: Adobe Headquarters Renovation
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Lead Architects: Kevin Schaeffer, Natalie Engels
Project Year 2017
Photographer: Emily Hagopian Photography
Workplace has evolved to become the physical extension of a company’s brand and culture. Adobe’s mission is to merge technology with art and create digital products which inspire and excite. Their headquarters in downtown San Jose, however, reflected the aesthetic of the 90s, when it was built. In renovating it, our design team took cues from the history of the area and the company, and from the passion and excitement Adobe employees feel about their company and their products.
Conveying Adobe’s belief that its employees are their greatest asset, the renovated vertical campus is meant to foster collaboration and creativity for all of Adobe’s employees through an open and vibrant working environment. New open workspaces, numerous gathering/meeting areas, including a terraced meeting space with bleacher seating and “living rooms”, outside collaboration spaces, creative conference rooms and amenities allow employees to connect in a multitude of ways.
Adobe has been given a fresh public face that represents the creative tech company that it is. All-granite, formal lobbies, boast warm, welcoming and fun elements. The granite surfaces were replaced with warm wood veneer and pops of color. The concept of Adobe’s popular vector illustration software, using mathematic equations and geometric shapes to create art, can be found in the strong lines and angles in the varied wood grain and strategic light placement. A highlight is the main lobby’s backlit Adobe “A” feature. In another lobby, the existing granite has disappeared to make way for an all-hands meeting space with bleacher seating, a 2-story presentation screen and ping pong tables. The bleacher area leads to the upper level, Employee Town Center, that includes a café, several dining areas, a cafeteria, both indoor and outdoor seating, “living rooms”, a tech café and store. On the upper level, the strong lines of the intersecting ceiling blades provide a thumbprint effect, creating a pattern and look unique to the client’s headquarters.
As downtown San Jose’s largest tech firm, the headquarters pays homage to both the city’s past and present. A nod to the City’s agricultural past, locally sourced orchard crates form an overhead canopy in one of the café’s seating areas and were used to create an iconic “A” art installation. A custom-designed rooftop trellis, draws employees from all three towers to what was once and underutilized space for an ad-hoc meeting or a cocktail, with the City’s skyline as a backdrop. Locally made rugs, furniture and decorative pieces showcase the community’s artists and makers.
Adobe’s focus on creativity, innovation and community informed the team’s design approach – using minimal finishes in each space, adding curated art, locally made furnishings, utilizing environmentally sustainable materials and design, and a vibrant, purposeful use of color throughout – and resulted in a space that is the company’s brand manifested and a headquarters that expresses the next generation of the innovative workplace. Adobe headquarters has become the physical extension of the company’s brand, representing the company’s creativity and innovation.