Last time we took a look inside Pinterest's San Francisco headquarters, the view was such that one could only marvel at how predictably Pin-worthy the place was: leftover supplies from terrarium night, a wall of Lego creations, an honest-to-god printing press. As if a detente was declared in the ever-escalating race for most whimsical startup HQ, the recent set of photos released of the office shows a more utilitarian side of things. Compared to last time, it looks positively austere!
Originally, Los Angeles studio First Office and NYC-based design firm All of the Above were commissioned to build a workspace for 12 people; that is, until the photo-sharing site's popularity exploded, necessitating the 45,000-square-foot converted warehouse that currently serves as chez Pinterest. With a raw, stripped-down interior of exposed wood, brick, and steel, the space is centered around a four white "houses" that jut through both floors of the otherwise open-plan office. Each serves two functions; for example, the first floor of one is a glass-walled meeting room, while the upper level is a bar adjoining the staff dining area. With many a long, rectangular table and multi-purpose workstation filling the outlying space, it's pretty clear that the designers placed a high premium on collaboration and adaptability.
Given how often the stereotypical decadence of startup culture finds real-life confirmation, it's refreshing to hear that Pinterest's HQ was designed with a "stay hungry" ethos in mind. As co-founder and onetime architecture grad student Evan Sharp recently told Co.Design, "the office feels intentionally unfinished. We didn't want the space to give the impression of success or complacency or decadence, the way a lot of studio and agency spaces feel to me. We wanted it to feel like one stepping stone on a larger journey." If you're interested in tracking that journey yourself, yes, there is a board for that.