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Office Planning and Design


San Francisco, CA


48,000 square feet

Building a virtual community for writers requires an understanding of how the physical space fosters the creative process. For online publisher Medium, this meant developing an office environment that supports and reflects the art of storytelling. The space needed to respond to a high level of both collaboration and concentration for staff who help edit the work and develop tools for the company’s users. As it turned out, the right location for such a place was in The Phelan Building an historic flat-iron near San Francisco’s Union Square. The beauty of this landmark structure was not lost on the company founders.


Collaborating with the client on the planning and design of its headquarters, the design team chose to incorporate natural and raw materials used in elegant and unfamiliar ways to celebrate the historic fabric of the original structure and to create an interior canvas with aims to inspire. The new offices feature a large variety of settings, degrees of privacy, and space sizes for differing modes of work and social interaction. Breakout areas and huddle rooms give staff go-to areas for impromptu group work and meetings. Adjustable height workstations in open areas support worker comfort with the ease of quickly sitting or standing. Reclusive coves provide refuge for moments of rejuvenation and focused work. Amenities such as an organic juice bar are out in the open and encourages congregation, where some of the best are ultimately authored.

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