Aol Offices in Palo Alto, by Studio O+A
AOL has presented us with lots of news to adapt even more to the changes on the online culture. As part of this effort, they also moved to a new office in Palo Alto, California, and brought the architects of Studio O+A to let them fully integrated with the other companies in Silicon Valley.
A clean and light space, integrated work areas and a playful use of the Aol logo over color texture, made this new office environment with a web style, if you know what I mean. As the architects say, this concept is in how they treat the materials: "Key to this approach is the concept of “honest materiality”—the embrace of materials and processes that originate in the construction industry and that increasingly provide the finish motifs for modern workplace design. At AOL, for example, oriented strand board (OSB), typically used by contractors to separate spaces on construction sites, was sanded, shaped, and finished to serve as a contemporary accent throughout the complex."
The existing space retained a distinctly 1980s corporate aesthetic: drop ceilings hanging over every office, high cubicles separating employees into tightly defined workstations, dark finishes, and oblique lines. O+A restored the space to a clean, white canvas—exposing the ceilings, stripping the walls to reveal the structure, and generally creating a spatial equivalent to the transparency that AOL was bringing to every aspect of its business.
AOL’s new logo—the company’s initials in a simple white font—can be placed effectively on any colorful background. Those playful backgrounds vary throughout the headquarters and include both abstract patterns and imagery drawn from nature and pop culture. All wall coverings in the space are custom designed.