With ex-Googlers in charge and a mission to disrupt the industry, it’s no surprise that Zest was seeking a space with a sense of whimsy, rather than a brokerage firm look-a-like. Anything corporate was anathema; bold, bright colors, open space for collaboration, and a host of dining and play options were must-haves. In addition, Zest wanted a future-proof space that could accommodate future expansion. Working off an abandoned film laboratory in Hollywood, it took a great deal of imagination to envision the finished space: concrete load-bearing walls, the residue of a building expansion, and cut-off sight-lines that created flow problems, while broken elevators and floors full of screening rooms created more challenges.
“If you ask me what I came into this life to do. I will tell you: I came to live out loud”. This quote from Émile Zola set the stage for our main objective with Zest - create a sense of whimsy. The design team was challenged with creating a new non-corporate space in which unique key nourishment areas would provide a vehicle to experience different components within the space while working around challenging infrastructure problems and future expansion considerations.
Our theme was simple and modern with sophisticated pops of color. Our hope was to foster collaborative working styles, encouraging employees to stop and interact, rather than pass one another in the hall. Zest did not want to lose the quirky charm of its previous headquarters, so we re-imagined a striped mural and created an orange front door, both hallmarks of the company’s former space. The team also brought in local artists for other large-scale murals, giving the headquarters pops of color and playfulness. Two features helped encourage company-wide camaraderie: a family tree that gathers photos of employees, and a doghouse that garners pictures of beloved pooches. In tribute to the original building function, the design team kept one of the multiple screening rooms on the top floor and transformed it into a game room.
We were able to transform it into a whimsical, open space that valued employees and created the impetus for collaboration. “Go big or go home” became the project’s mantra. Specialty lighting was incorporated into the high design areas and more functional lighting was brought into the work and conference areas. Light and fresh finishes kept the space “Zesty” enabling for a high-spirited atmosphere that lends itself to the project’s mantra.