The Organic Workspace of EarthCam’s Headquarters in New Jersey

The world’s largest facility dedicated to webcam technology brings the outdoors in. 

The 48,000-square-foot EarthCampus, the new headquarters of EarthCam, features floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights that bring the outdoors in and provide natural light to the open, organic workspaces throughout the building. The workplace looks out onto landscaped grounds with 10 acres of cherry trees, ponds, and sculptures in Upper Saddle River, N.J. Spacesmith served as both the interior and exterior design architect of the facility, which features a unique facade of translucent molten aluminum and a 3-story atrium with a 25-foot-tall LED video wall. Davis Brody Bond served as the executive architect of EarthCam.

The overall space merges engineering, sales, customer service and other front-office functions for optimal collaboration, with a connecting passageway to link with experts in the manufacturing and warehouse zones. In between, communal amenities like the main kitchen and pantry host informal meetings and breaks. In addition, EarthCam also selected efficient equipment aimed at reducing energy consumption for the facility and is utilizing reclaimed building components and new materials containing recycled content.

When was the project completed?  

2018

How much space?  

48,000 RSF

Was this new or renovated space? 

Renovated

SF per person?        

About 450 PSF per person

The workplace looks out onto landscaped grounds with acres of cherry trees, ponds, and sculptures. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
The workplace looks out onto landscaped grounds with acres of cherry trees, ponds, and sculptures. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

How many employees?

104

What is average daily population?  

110

Describe workspace types.

Open and Enclosed: A unique 180-foot long serpentine style desk was custom-designed to join the programming lab and the creative studio, promoting cross-department collaboration.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided? 

Breakout spaces, meeting rooms, seating areas and conference rooms as well as individual offices surround the collaborative space.

The new office's cafe is a prime example of its employee-centric design. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
The new office’s cafe is a prime example of its employee-centric design. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

What other kind of support space or amenity spaces are provided? 

The employee-centric green headquarters reinforces the company’s commitment to employee wellness and promotes a healthy physical work environment. The revitalized grounds, originally designed by famed Landscape Architect James Rose, include meditation areas, walking paths and bike trails. The EarthCam Arboretum adds to the natural beauty of the campus and features more than 50 species of carefully curated flora from around the world. Spaces for meeting, socializing and re-energizing can be found under shady pergolas or flowering trees.

Has the project achieved any special certifications?

The project is currently under review to achieve LEED CI Certification.

Was the C-suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?

The team worked with EarthCam CEO Brian Cury and his designer and engineer for the project. He gave us head counts and much of the design was based on his sense of aesthetics and his art collection was also an important touchstone.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?

The wellbeing initiatives for this project were all about the landscape rehab, meditation and lunch/ meeting areas outdoors and walking trails.

The open layout offers employees access to natural light. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
The open layout offers employees access to natural light. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?

One of the main design challenges with the EarthCam project was to take a non-descript one story factory building and bring it into EarthCam’s high tech world of the 21st century, while doing so in an intelligent and economical way.  Efforts were made to use the existing structure wherever this made sense, keeping new structure as straightforward and easy to erect as possible, while maintaining the architecturally exciting forms that were the basis for the design. Large areas of plain concrete masonry on the existing facade were made vastly more attractive with the installation of ‘Alusion’ aluminum cladding panels. ‘Alusion’ is stabilized aluminum foam which has a sponge-like structure of random voids through which air and light can pass.

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.

Function followed form as the façade also acts as a sunshield for reduced energy consumption during the day.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?

Keeping with the green initiative, the space is a LEED certified interior renovation and features many reclaimed/recycled and repurposed elements and materials. Worthy of mention, with an eye towards the cycle or “Orbit” of progress, sustainability and creativity, all of the collaborative and multi-use spaces surrounding the central creative area are named after celestial bodies or elements. For example, The Star Café with its reclaimed namesake roadside diner sign and custom graffiti murals by artist Anthony “Mast” Arias, The “Luna” conference room features images of Lunar Missions and inspires exploration of new technologies and beyond, Others include “Titan,” “Mercury” and “Voyager” all similarly themed. Floor-to-ceiling tempered glass panels, storefront and movable glass panels, conventional doors and other elements were all reclaimed from previous renovations of the space. Throughout the life of the project, EarthCam made views of the construction process available online via a public web page so visitors could track progress and see important milestones.

This is the view from the board room. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
This is the view from the board room. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

What is the most unique feature of the new space? 

The biggest and most startling structural intervention proposed by the new design is the 25-foot-tall entry space with its enormous sloping video screen ceiling.  The 28-foot-tall roof of the entry space is framed in structural steel which is sloped 51.3 degrees from horizontal to match the slope of the video screen ceiling.

What kind of technology products were used? 

The entire construction process was documented, utilizing EarthCam’s camera technology, from over 40 different camera angles from the groundbreaking ceremony on September 29, 2015 to the grand opening party. EarthCam relied on a combination of professional construction camera technology, 360° photography and drone video to document the nearly 3-year project. With EarthCam’s new time-lapse movie, viewers can watch the develop.

The design of the EarthCampus offices are on view from the outside. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
The design of the EarthCampus offices are on view from the outside. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

If the company relocated to new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees? 

Migration to the new space was done in phases with groups occupying by role/function first into temporary space in the new building then into final quarters as the renovation was completed.

How did the company communicate about the changes and moves?

Prior to groundbreaking and throughout the construction/renovation process employee events were held at the site to preview, tour and understand the evolution of the space and the timeline.

Were there post occupancy surveys?  

Employees are always encouraged in contribute ideas and suggestions to improve and enhance the environment and programs. Their input has been instrumental in the evolution of the space and activities.

Breakout spaces, meeting rooms, seating areas and conference rooms and offices surround the HQ's collaborative space. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
Breakout spaces, meeting rooms, seating areas and conference rooms and offices surround the HQ’s collaborative space. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.

If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?

Employees overwhelmingly enjoy the grounds and outdoor activities including walking and exercise and regular yoga sessions.

Tell us more!

General Contractor/Construction Manager: : 650 East Crescent, LLC

Project Owner/Developer: EarthCam, Inc.

Lead Design Firms: Davis, Brody, Bond

Space Planning/Interiors/Architects: Spacesmith

Structural Engineer: David Kufferman PE Structural Engineers

MEP Engineer: Omdex Incorporated

LEED Consultants: gk+a Architects, PC

Interior Design Consultants: Vanessa DeLeon Associates

This is one of the offices that surround the collaborative area. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
This is one of the offices that surround the collaborative area. Image courtesy of Joe Kitchen and Spacesmith.
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