Spark Capital, a boutique investment firm headquartered in Boston, is a seed investor in companies like Twitter, Wayfair, and Slack. The company’s logo was inspired by the graphic nature of traditional Japanese rock gardens whose metaphorical ground forms are carefully arranged patterns that symbolize water ripples. Its expression mimics the harmony of beauty and balance found in nature. The idealized ripples in Spark Capital’s logo are symbolic of how the company’s impact reverberates across their many collaborators. We infused the ripple metaphor into the design of their new office to create warm and welcoming experiences that balance the intensity of the work environment. The team work area— open in the middle for staff desks with private offices around the perimeter— is efficient and compact.
A screen wall links the reception area to the team work area. It provides acoustical separation using glass partitions but lets light through a wood screen with a CNC-milled pattern of ripples. At the epicenter of each concentric ripple is a porthole that brings more light through and provides a moment of focused view between the public and private spaces. A custom ceiling was designed as a floating canopy of wood and light; we experimented with molded wood veneer flitches to create concentric forms of varying depths and interior volume. The result is a dynamic installation that brings texture and scale to the space while allowing the ripples to float overhead, almost as if one were under water. The Work Bar near the pantry kitchen is a custom high table that allows the team to meet informally or have lunch together. It holds its own presence as an elegant, anchoring form while also referencing the shape of the ripples in the other parts of the office.
The office’s design is reflective of its purpose: a space dedicated to collaboration across diverse platforms and a fast-paced exchange of ideas. The layout fosters team synergy and provides the right amount of flexibility to accommodate the ever-dynamic workday. Inspired by the same forward thinking and creative attitude espoused by our client, the office is welcoming, beautifully illuminated, and embodies the mission and brand of Spark Capital.