Cushing Terrell reveals AppFolio, a new office designed to blend the romance of rustic Texas with the modern vibe of a 21st-century technology-rich environment.
An inspiring workplace is a great perk for employees, and companies like AppFolio are going above and beyond to create destination workplaces that enhance company culture and a sense of belonging.
The opportunity for AppFolio to take over the lease for the second floor of their office building in Richardson, Texas, meant the company could consolidate its Dallas-area-workforce into a single, two-story, 48,000-square-foot Texas headquarters. With a commitment to purposely support team members, AppFolio wanted to create a place where employees wanted to be — a place that would facilitate collaboration and teamwork while making life a little easier through amenities that help maintain work-life balance.
The design for the multi-phase, tenant improvement project kicked off in April 2020. Senior Interior Designer Jill Lee calls it a “COVID baby,” as it was one of the first projects the Cushing Terrell interior design team conducted entirely remote with team members and partners in California, Colorado, Idaho, and Texas. Given that the Cushing Terrell design team was accustomed to working with teams across office locations, remote collaboration came naturally, but not seeing the site in person was a challenge. Leveraging technology to its fullest, the team utilized remote video collaboration and visualization tools, including creating full-scale models in Matterport to get an understanding of the physical space and to conceptualize all needed areas with a cohesive design between first and second floors.
To create a workplace where the need to be with colleagues and celebrate team culture would be fulfilled, the team anchored the design on breakrooms called “watercoolers.” The nucleus of the first floor is a large community gathering space that starts at the front door and flows through collaboration areas to the watercooler space. The centrally located reception and work-lounge area serves as both an internal and client-facing meeting and event space. On the second floor, work and collaboration areas also center around the watercooler. An important part of planning was to ensure all the collaboration spaces were fully equipped with monitors and AV equipment for convenient, planned, or impromptu gatherings.
With culture top of mind, the design team did a lot of research, including interviewing staff about what they love most about the Dallas area in order to convey the aesthetics of the AppFolio culture and create a vibrant, inspiring environment. The resulting look and feel of the office interiors blend the romance of rustic Texas with the modern vibe of a technology hub. Inspiration came from the Visit Dallas mural in Deep Ellum created by artist Brynner Aldrich (who was hired to create custom graphics for the AppFolio workplace) and the geography of Texas and the north central plains.
For example, the light fixtures and acoustic baffles chosen by the design team reflect the shapes and colors of wildflowers, including bluebonnets, the Texas state flower. Other Dallas and Texas-specific symbols are incorporated throughout, such as the Pegasus Mobil Oil icon in the game room, copper ceiling tiles decorated with longhorns, and colorful graffiti art.
The work environment includes shared meeting rooms, support spaces, and employee amenities (game room, fitness room and showers, additional break areas) to promote collaboration and fun between teams. The unified, cohesive workspace celebrates the AppFolio brand and culture, enhances productivity, facilitates recruitment and employee satisfaction, and supports long-term growth.
Cushing Terrell design team:
Jill Lee – Senior Interior Designer
Kyle Johnson – Architect
Dylan Davies – Design Professional
Laura Dougherty – Associate Principal – Architect
Greg Gedney – Executive Director of Educational Development
Patrick Moranville – Electrical Engineer
Lance Faulkner – Electrical Engineer
Sarah Dykes – Design Technician
Priscilla Sager – Mechanical Engineer
Madlin Miller – Interior Design Professional
Jacob Mortensen – Mechanical Engineer
Brandon Besser – Structural Engineer
Megan Cranston – Design Professional
Mike Nitschke – Mechanical Engineer
Ross Hamand – Design Technician
LightArt – Acoustic Lighting
Shaw Contract – Carpet
Concrete Collaborative – Concrete Countertops
CertainTeed Ceilings – Heartfelt Acoustic Ceiling
Brynner Aldrich – Custom Wall Graphic Design