The company makes a much-publicized move from Palo Alto to downtown San Jose
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE ‘Q’ – THE REGISTRY’S PRINT PUBLICATION – IN APRIL 2014
But nothing nearby fit the bill, said Don Dixon, senior vice president of worldwide operations. Six months out from its planned move date, the company began to cast a wider net.
“We didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about San Jose prior to looking at this building,” Dixon said. Even once they saw the space, a move further to the south took some deliberation. It was convenient for the executive team, most of which lives in San Jose. But it also turned to be a surprisingly easy commute for most of the staff, he said. The Caltrain station is only a five-minute walk away.
“Price was not our first requirement. We were willing to spend for a higher price item if it met our requirements,” Dixon said.
The interior is the work of L. Kershner Design, a firm based in Santa Cruz. In keeping with the corporate trend of promoting employee collaboration, the office provides many spaces for people to gather in groups large or small.
“We had a lot of flexibility within the work experience itself,” said Lorri Kershner, owner of the design firm. “We were able to incorporate things like walls that could be written all over, walls that had embedded technology and power.”
Work surfaces can be raised or lowered. Permanent walls are for everyone to see the entire room. To provide a bit of aural privacy, the design includes a “pink noise” generator that spreads low-level random frequencies across the space.
“You are aware there are conversations around you, but you can’t understand what they are saying,” she said. The pink noise can be adjusted over particularly loud areas.
For visual vibrancy she chose splashes of orange on wall panels, the kitchen and company cafeteria, with accents of yellow and green elsewhere.
Most conference rooms are sized for one or two people for times when they need extra privacy. The main boardroom has walls of switch glass, which can be made transparent or opaque with the flick of a switch.
Kershner also focused on sustainability. That includes low- or non-VOC materials, but also some recycling from the old office. Apigee brought its living walls from the old place, a modular system by Calgary-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions that requires no plumbing to water the plants. The cubicles are from DIRTT as well.
In the garage, Apigee convinced building owner Equity Office to install chargers for electric vehicles.
Sustainability also extends to the outside environment. Only about 170 of the 250 or so people who work for Apigee are in the office all week. The rest come in only once or twice a week.