By Star Hughes
It’s only fitting that the Portland office of Airbnb would reflect its mission of being a “trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone.”
Indeed, when designing its office, inspiration appears to have come from the company’s goal of connecting people to wholly unique travel experiences and lodging. Here’s a look at how the company that took the world of travel by storm has incorporated the essence of its brand into its incredible office space.
Much like Hughes Marino had a bit of luck when it came to securing the amazing, historical building that houses our San Diego headquarters, Airbnb found a space with inherent charm, beauty, and classical elements including brick structures and archways. However, if you don’t have the same luck in finding this type of space for your own office, you can mimic the look by adding brick veneers for an authentic, rustic and industrial feel. Fun fact: This look can even be achieved in a high rise, for a truly one-of-a-kind space in a modern building.
High ceilings make your office appear bigger, so if you’ve got them, flaunt them. Airbnb went this route too, and instead of covering the ductwork with traditional hard-lid ceilings, they painted the exposed hard ducting white, making the space feel even larger than it is. Another option is to paint exposed ducting and ceilings black in an effort to make the ceiling ‘disappear’ – though it certainly changes the look and feel of the space.
A Great Kitchen
Companies looking to attract and retain top talent know the value of providing an inviting space for employees to relax and enjoy a meal (and each other) with a comfortable and functional kitchen. With stainless steel appliances, healthy snacks readily available, and a bar where team members can eat or share ideas with colleagues, Airbnb’s gourmet kitchen allows employees to take a break from the computer and enjoy their breakfast, lunch, or dinner with coworkers.
Breakout Rooms as Branding
In keeping with the thousands of unique places people can stay using Airbnb, the company smartly worked its brand into the office’s design and décor. Specifically, localized vignettes — ostensibly used as breakout rooms or whimsical conference rooms — perfectly capture the sense of exploration and discovery that attracts Airbnb’s users. This unique design concept could easily be applied to companies in other industries as well.
The Portland office of Airbnb is almost worth booking as a destination itself. With its creative and adventurous take on what a corporate office can be, the very space in which the Airbnb team works exemplifies the best of what the company has to offer.
Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices across the nation. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s 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 regularly writes for Hughes Marino’s “Spaces We Love” blog. Contact Star at 1-844-662-6635, or firstname.lastname@example.org.