AKQA is known for its tech-driven, highly creative work for clients like Nike and Google, so it’s no surprise that its offices reflect this creative spirit as well. In São Paulo, Brazil, AKQA Casa oozes that quirky vibrancy baked into the agency’s core. Located in a residential neighborhood, the South American team took over the space from its previous owners—an older couple that found themselves with too much room after their children grew up—in 2014 and called in architectural firm Estúdio Penha to give the space an ecologically friendly face-lift that brought in the outdoors. “The main task was let’s make a house that does not feel like an office, but a hub that attracts the best innovative minds to come together to encourage a collaborative approach to creating the future,” said AKQA co-creative director Diego Machado. “A place with astonishing architecture that welcomes visitors and clients to work really close to AKQA employees.” But the best perk came with the location: The lady who lives next door often stops by with cakes.
To make AKQA Casa feel more like home, the team opted for an open environment with gauzy curtains to provide privacy. The building, said Machado, provides enough light and views that employees feel connected to the city despite the suburban environment.
Large wooden doors connect the kitchen to the rooftop garden where the team grows vegetables that are often used for lunches. The team also has breakfast together every morning—on Fridays they always have scrambled eggs and tapioca pudding.
Looks like home
The 1950s-era home allows for elements like the waiting room to feel cozy and welcoming.
“The south wall of the building is pretty much a glass wall, showing a beautiful view of São Paulo’s skyline behind and also gives off as much natural light as it can,” said Machado.
Currently, AKQA Casa has 30 employees, but they also bring in outside creatives like artists and production designers when needed.
This story first appeared in the October 24, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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