This is Bloomberg’s first flagship Tech Hub on the West Coast. The new space, completed in May 2015, is both a workplace for Bloomberg’s software engineers and an event space to help foster connections between Bloomberg and Silicon Valley. The space occupies two full floorplates (levels 22 & 23) of the historic, recently renovated “Pac Bell Building” at 140 New Montgomery Street in San Francisco’s SOMA District. The richly ornamented exterior is comprised of glazed ceramic tile cladding that becomes further articulated as a series of faceted chevron shapes, which partially screen the windows of level 22.
The design juxtaposes new elements against the exposed raw materials of the building shell and translates the form and geometry of the exterior ornamentation. This approach contrasts the existing rough material palette of the exposed concrete and brick interior with a more refined combination of oak flooring and millwork, glass, steel and felt cladding.
Upon entry, you encounter one of the main design elements: a porous wood “liner” that accommodates Bloomberg’s primary programs of pantry and informal, collaborative work areas. The liner wraps the pantry space and splays in plan across the ceiling, wrapping down as paneling along one side and as the face of a series of window seat banquets on the other. The liner splits into a series of individually sculpted boards at the ceiling that recall the façade’s chevron shapes and allows glimpses through to the raw concrete structure above. Though relatively thin, the liner provides a three dimensionality to the space and ceiling.
The liner also forms a passage to the multipurpose event space beyond. This room is a simple counterpart to the liner, and is heavily outfitted with integrated AV.
A diamond-shaped stingray tank (dramatic fishtanks are signature elements of Bloomberg’s offices worldwide) and a sculptural media piece, “Light Volume”, afford visual connection between levels. This Light Volume is formed as a faceted steel-plate object containing a void. Wrapping this void is an abstract, diffused LED ambient spatial infographic display that shows a translated live-feed of data from Bloomberg’s Terminal. A San Francisco based immersive/interactive media agency was commissioned to produce the media content. The Light Volume allows glimpses from level 23 down to the stingray tank below, and provides a work surface along the upper edge.
Conference rooms are defined by glass walls and designed to allow video conferencing to reveal select views beyond. The workspace is sited along the wings of both levels interspersed with soft seating. Adjustable sit-stand workstation benching integrates Bloomberg’s signature dual flat-screen monitors. Felt-lined booths and back-painted glass lined whiteboard nooks are integrated into a simplified version of the wood liner. A band of wood flooring accents the liner.
The Quiet Room on the upper level is designed to contrast to the rest of the space. It is conceived as spatial curio cabinet and library, designed with a large wood communal table and wood flooring as visual background to the carefully chosen collection of artifacts and curiosities that bridge art and technology.