Interior design: Design Blitz
Design team: Melissa Hanley – Lead Designer, Seth Hanley – Project Architect, Liz Evoy – Interior, John Hunter – Specifications/Construction Administration
Location: San Francisco, California
Area: 46,000 SF
Photography: Jasper Sanidad
Design Blitz Studio has designed the new offices of grocery delivery company Instacart located in San Francisco, California.
Description by Blitz: Instacart hired Design Blitz to design their new 46,000 SF office located in the heart of San Francisco to accommodate rapidly growing staff. Their goal in the design of the new space was twofold: to attract and retain talent while manifesting their core values of humbleness and quality.
To address these goals, Design Blitz was tasked with the design challenge of creating a new workplace archetype centered on personal experience, social context, and serious fun.
Blitz designed a series of custom furniture pieces for the space including standing height produce box tables and an in-office grocery display. The produce box table design took inspiration from vintage produce crates and were created using labels from local historic California farms. The tables, located throughout the office between workstations and in open collaborative areas, serve as informal working areas for impromptu meetings or private focus work. The grocery display, located adjacent to the branded elevator entrance, offers Instacart products such as fresh fruits and veggies to the staff and pays homage to the grocery shopping experience.
Cabbage wallpaper located in open-access work spaces provides a vibrant marker for the more informal meeting spaces. A mix of both collaborative standing height tables and private focus booths provide flexibility for both group work and concentrated private work.
The design of the new comfortable and homey space nods to both the company’s humble beginnings and the mission of the company. Two large work cafes, located on the 6th and 11th floors, feature cafe and bar-height tables, comfortable couches, and residential design touches that provide spaces for concentrated work and informal collaboration/socialization. Both cafes provide a warm and inviting place for staff to work and meet with visitors in a retail-like experience with full coffee bars inspired by favorite neighborhood haunts near their original office, the founder’s apartment.
The 6th floor work cafe is located adjacent to the office reception and provides an instant entrée into the Instacart culture of comfort and accessibility. Visual access between the spaces removes hierarchy and allows visitors to immediately feel “at home” in the space. The 11th floor work cafe serves as the all-hands and special events space for the office and is lined by windows on two sides with expansive Bay Views. Small conference rooms adjacent to the all-hands space provide opportunities for quick breakouts.
Workstations, located on the perimeter of the large floor plate, allow all staff access to windows, daylight, and views. Meeting rooms and phone booths, located in the center of the floors, feature strategic glass-wrapped walls that create visual access from one end of the office to the other while still providing acoustical privacy.
The resulting office space was designed and documented in three weeks, which is considered a record time. The design team joked that it was an “insta-project.” The project was also delivered within budget, without sacrificing quality.