Nestled down the road from Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, Instagram since September has been settling into its newly expanded home. Previously occupying just one floor of its building, Instagram's three-story HQ was a blank slate for the company to make its own. With 345 of its nearly 400 global employees based at the location, as well as high-level visitors shuffling in and out every day, it was imperative that the office reflect the look and feel of the photo-sharing app. The designers, Gensler San Francisco, carved out a space that was intended to feel like a 3-D version of the app, complete with photo sets, instant cameras and rotating displays of aspirational photos. "We set out to design an experience that would be inspiring for us to walk through every day," explained Instagram design head Ian Spalter. "Our goal was to carry through the aesthetic of the app—a clean, light, modern space with pops of color provided by galleries of photos, videos and community stories that reflect and showcase the diversity of expression on Instagram."
Lights, camera, action!
We worked with a Hollywood set designer who developed the sets and cinematic lighting to be optimized for mobile photography and video,” said Spalter.
The Instagram cafeteria is free to all employees. The Facebook cafeterias on the campus next door are also open to staffers who want variety or a change of scenery.
Coffee shop candids
Inside Instagram’s own Blue Bottle coffee shop, staffers and guests are encouraged to take candid photos with the instant film cameras provided and pin them to the wall.
The library contains a curated selection of influential art and photography books, vintage cameras and other objects that pay tribute to craft, design and creativity,” Spalter explained. “All of the objects in the library were selected by a staff committee representing all departments within the company.”
This story first appeared in the November 14, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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