When motocross apparel company Fox Head Inc. decided to move its headquarters to an 82,000-square-foot warehouse in Irvine, California, the company wanted to ensure that its boxy new digs would stand out. As a company that outfits action sports enthusiasts, from dirt bike riders to surfers to BMXers, the answer was pretty easy: Everything they make is already about chasing thrills, so they designed an office around that.
The shape of the building, designed by Los Angeles-based Clive Wilkinson Architects, was angled to evoke a futuristic bike helmet. Just outside, three different tracks for motocross and BMX riders give the company’s 300 employees the opportunity to get in a quick ride before and after work.
“It is the outdoor space that makes the primary difference for [Fox Head],” Wilkinson tells Co.Design. “It’s great because it reinforces the brand.” Wi-Fi and benches allow workers to escape their desks. The emphasis on the outdoors lets employees “live the brand,” as Wilkinson puts it.
Inside, the spacious warehouse is centered on a kind of “main street,” which houses meeting spaces and a few executive offices as well as mock storefronts, where the company can experiment with display ideas for real-life stores. In the open office space, the goal was to maintain easy visual connection between workers, so that you never need to walk more than about 50 feet to find someone.
Plenty of furnishings scattered throughout the office are meant to encourage people to work wherever they want, Wilkinson says. “The message to employees is you can work anywhere in the space,” he explains. “You’ve got 15 different options,” whether that’s inside or outside, down the hall from your desk, prototyping in the workshop area, or typing on a laptop in the cafe.
“It’s got a very kind of loose, kind of creative vibe, very much in keeping with the Fox brand,” Wilkinson says.