Co.Design

Obscura Digital's Stunning Headquarters Mix Techno Chic And Cali Woodsiness

Obscura Digital, the creative tech agency behind this crazy live-action data visualization and this (even crazier) animated building facade, has unveiled surprisingly un-crazy headquarters in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.

The office is a mix of techno chic and California woodsiness spread over three stories and 36,000 square feet in a 1940s warehouse. The architects, San Francisco-based IwamotoScott, collaborate frequently with Obscura Digital and agreed to do the design work for free in exchange for space at the office. Oh, okay, we get it now. Of course the design can’t be totally wild because, well, the architects have to live with it, too.

IwamotoScott are known for their slick, futuristic style. We get plenty of that here. There’s a projection theater housed inside a Bucky Fuller-esque geodesic dome. There are see-through walls and a laser-cut modular bookshelf that doubles as a privacy screen. And there’s a huge gray object that, from one angle, looks like it got blasted by a ballistic missile in some sort of dystopian robots v. alien faceoff. (Turns out, it’s just a conference room.)

To offset all that sci-fi chilliness, the architects introduced earthy touches. They stretched wood across the ceilings and over doorways and stairwells. They also adapted materials from the old building to the new space, such as aluminum grates (now staircase railing) and gray carpets. What you end up with is an office that’s edgy enough to project an appropriately "creative" image (it’s a creative company, after all), but warm enough to accommodate the people who actually work there everyday--including the architects.

[Images courtesy of IwamotoScott]

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