Find respite from your workday in the mobile meditation app’s Santa Monica HQ.
Headspace — the mobile meditation app that, like, everyone‘s been talking about — has offices in Los Angeles and London, and in LA, they recently moved their Venice headquarters to Santa Monica. The new HQ, created by Kelly Robinson, is a light-filled space, which marries introspection with curiosity in its design. For instance, the California-cool clean lines, sleek white walls, and greenery in the office’s “Lookout” remain cozy with comfortable textiles in vibrant yet muted colors. Likewise, the almost otherworldly meditation pods persist in being inviting with their privacy and people-oriented ergodynamics.
In short, Headspace’s headquarters, which are really just an extension of its mission “to teach the world to meditate, so that everyone can live a happier healthier, more enjoyable life,” make the meditative work-life look like the good life.
We reached out to Robinson to find out more.
What is the address of the project?
2415 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica
Who was the building architect?
Joelle Drury of Wolcott Architecture | Interiors
Who was the interior architect/designer?
When was the project completed?
February 29th, 2016. Leap day!
What is the total square footage?
About 16,000 square feet.
What is the square footage per person?
There’s about 225 square feet per person.
How many total employees are there and what’s the daily population?
The total number of employees is something like 120, and there are about 100 in the office on any given day, though it changes by the month.
What is the location’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities?
The office is situated nearby the 26th Street/Bergamont train station, which is located along the Expo Line. This above-ground train line can take you right to the beach. And the station teems with art galleries and eateries.
Which furniture brands/dealers were used? Please touch upon any notable products, how they were used, and if they solved a specific problem.
We went with custom desks made by MASH Studios, which allowed the entire staff to enjoy the same quality of workspace. These desks are also flexible as teams shift and grow. Most of our furniture products were sourced by Megan Sosik at Two Furnish. The swing table from Duffy London (pictured above) was a favorite to make meetings more fun. Colorful meeting booths — Railway Carriages by Spacestor — served as open, yet acoustically friendly meeting spaces, as well as cozy places to hide away in. Custom millwork by Zorn and Pinnacle Contracting allowed us to take full advantage of the “Lookout” and kitchen area, which were specifically designed to host gatherings of all kinds, including group meditations. And of course, Headspace’s meditation pods, designed by Oyler-Wu, are key to encouraging staff to take their own meditations when they feel inclined.
Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?
During my time at Headspace the work from home policy was flexible, but people wanted to come to the office and often had meetings, so most people were present a lot of the time.
What percentage of the space is unassigned to individuals or specific teams?
At move-in, something like 65-to-70 percent of the space was unassigned.
How is the company’s brand reflected in the space?
The design was inspired by words like playful, curious, healthy, happy, and fun, found in Headspace’s brand book. We used a lot of tasteful color, incorporated elements of nature, kept a clean and minimal design, but at the same time, brought in lots of playful elements like swings and illustration patterns. The meditation pods are also core to the brand, creating a compelling and curious place to meditate.
What is the most unique feature about the new space?
I love the Lookout. It’s the heart of the whole office, and every office should have a heart. It can be used in so many different ways: meals, meditations, parties, individual meetings, company-wide meetings, performances, yoga, interviews, kids’ gatherings, floor sitting, lying down, and most often just a really cool internet cafe vibe for employees. Up on the second floor, there are tons of openings where you can peek down and observe from above, creating the feeling of being amongst the gathering while being above it. Lines of sight and communication from floor to floor simultaneously open the space up to create a feeling of connectedness, yet allow for introversion if that is preferred.
If the company moved out of a previous space, what was the hardest aspect of change for people?
That’s a really good question! Their previous office was in the heart of Venice, which meant it being really bike-friendly and nearby loads of eateries. And honestly it being LA, I think the hardest transition was the new commute and the parking situation.
Please share any illuminating, surprising, or hoped-for results you might have gleaned from post-occupancy surveys.
The company’s “Happiness Survey” results definitely shot up, which always feels good. In designing the space, I had hope that an upgrade in external environment would lead to an upgrade in the inner world of those who live in it. And the feedback definitely encapsulated that.
Tell us about any other notable aspects of the project that make it unique.
I think Headspace is a truly a notable company. Their mission is “to improve the health and happiness of the world.” They really live by this. They meditate as a company twice a day. And at a time where I really believe the world could greatly benefit from this kind of medicine, I’m beyond grateful they chose me to design a home where they could reach for the stars.