By Star Hughes-Gorup
Yelp’s San Francisco headquarters is unique, unexpected and a great mix of vintage and high-end tech. Located in thirteen floors of the historic Pacific Telephone Building in the heart of the city on the corner of Montgomery and Minna, Yelp capitalizes on the building’s nearly 100-year-old art deco design and reimagines it as a young, vibrant, and fresh creative office space.
The exposed brick walls are original, dating back to the 1920s when the tower was built. Companies that can’t get their hands on a historic building but want to create the same look can replicate it by retrofitting bricks (cutting them into halves or thirds) and installing them on the wall as cladding.
The mix of reclaimed wood, along with brick, concrete, and metal, make for an eclectic vibe. Yelp even goes so far as to create a dropped ceiling in their hallway made entirely of wood.
A staircase original to the building runs through the center of each floor to allow for easy access and communication among the different departments, which keeps the team feeling connected across thirteen floors. Yelp also spread out collaborative areas to increase circulation and flow. The coffee shop on the 8th floor is a great place for team members to catch up and connect on a comfy lounge chair.
Wood planked ceilings over polished concrete floors make for a different look altogether – and are a great way to add texture to what would otherwise be a fairly simple space.
Partial height glass walls are an easy way to dividing a space into breakout rooms – but beware of noise issues! These are best utilized in quiet work spaces that don’t require privacy.
Vibrant carpet tiles are an economical and practical way of adding color to a space, and also buffering sound. In spaces with open ceilings and hard-surface flooring like polished concrete, noise can be an issue, as there is nothing to absorb sound. Carpet is a great way to soften the noise while still maintaining the open feel that we all love.
Yelp’s San Francisco office incorporates all of my favorite elements – historic brick, open ceilings, reclaimed wood, comfy furniture, and antique light fixtures – and does so masterfully. The space earns five stars in my book!
Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s San Diego brokerage team, where she specializes in tenant representation and building purchases. Star also makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughesgorup.com. Contact Star at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT, or firstname.lastname@example.org.