These Offices Will Blow Your Mind

Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
These days, a simple office water cooler and coffee machine won’t cut it. Workspaces are bigger and more impressive than ever — boasting perks that will make your head spin and may even ignite a resounding, "What the hell?"

So when we heard Kontor — a new networking site for the most well-designed offices — rounded up of some of the U.S.’s top listings, we had to get a peek. And while you might expect tech behemoths like Google or Facebook to top the list, that isn't the case.

"We wanted to get beyond some of the big-name tech offices that typically get all the attention," CEO and founder Mia Lewin tells Refinery29.

Kontor selected the spaces based on a trio of criteria, from fun elements to employee needs. “The projects had to consider the needs of employees first, embody the business in the office experience, relate to the context in which they’re built, and have some surprising and fun elements,” she says.

Take a look at these inspiring interiors and get the scoop on the story behind each one. Oh, and be sure your résumé fired up — these companies are not messing around.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Framestore Los Angeles
Location:
Los Angeles

"DHD Architecture + Interior Design and RAC Design Build shored up an existing building with a vertical steel truss, painted an eye-catching yellow, while preserving and exposing the original timber frame. The new structure encloses an outdoor balcony, where employees at this Oscar-winning creative agency can catch the sunset while they catch up on email."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Airbnb
Location: San Francisco

"The WRNS [Studio] expansion of Airbnb’s SoMa headquarters plays on the company’s identity, with conference rooms and alcoves done up in domestic motifs. Beyond branding, the project offers employees a flexible workspace organized around an enclosed courtyard filled with natural light."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Cards Against Humanity
Location:
Chicago

"The shipping container is a popular tool for a designer looking to create an enclosed space with a rough-and-ready aesthetic, but it fits Cards Against Humanity’s irreverent startup attitude perfectly, and it complements the industrial bones of their space. The open plan allows employees in different areas of the business to collaborate easily, while the containers provide areas for lounges, conference rooms, and even a debauched-looking hookah den."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: dPOP!
Location: Detroit

"Downtown Detroit’s local studio, dPOP!, has created unique offices for Quicken Loans and other companies betting on the once-written-off heart of this city. The firm also chose to locate their own offices there, repurposing a former bank basement, complete with a vault converted into a lounge area. The office is close to cafés and an ever-growing number of amenities. Every day, the people who work there are reminded of the beauty to be found in the city’s previously overlooked spaces."



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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus
Location:
Philadelphia

"Urban Outfitters has been helping to transform Philadelphia’s long-neglected former Navy Yard for years, and Minnesota-based firm MSR has preserved the site’s past while updating a cluster of industrial buildings into homes for the clothing purveyor’s different brands. The firm not only created an amenity-filled campus for Urban Outfitters’ employees, but also brought new life to a whole section of town in the process."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Havas/Arnold Worldwide Headquarters
Location:
Boston

"Moving to an open workspace was a big change for advertising giant Havas/Arnold Worldwide, but Sasaki Associates delivered an airy office with a central gathering space for its Boston headquarters. The company also brought about the next chapter for a historic city icon, the former Filene’s Building designed by Daniel Burnham, completed in 1912, where the office is located. Its café is even named for the eminent architect and planner."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Atlassian
Location: Austin

"Austin’s tech boom has produced many new office spaces, but Lauckgroup’s new workplace for Atlassian stands out and bucks the trends with a thoughtful plan. The office unfolds in episodes, moving from bike room to workspace to café to outdoor terrace, all oriented around an angular stair that transforms into a pedestal of benches as it moves from one level to another. The element is a sculptural riff on the gathering stairs found in so many offices recently."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: The Agency
Location:
Los Angeles

"Real estate powerhouse The Agency looked to Belzberg Architects to create an office as fittingly forward-looking as some of the luxury properties in its portfolio. The designers created a system of custom partitions and seating that flows through the space and provides different types of meeting and gathering areas. The bespoke system not only provides an alternative to typical lounges for employees, but it gives the space a signature identity and leaves a visiting clients with a memorable impression."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Genius Media
Location:
Brooklyn

"LEESER Architecture converted a former industrial space near Brooklyn’s notoriously polluted Gowanus Canal into a new home for Genius Media, the 'Annotate the World' company that began as Rap Genius. The design firm made the brick-and-timber space feel ethereal with rows of lighting along the ceiling, reflective cabinets, and glass partitions covered in iridescent film, filling the office with washed-out rainbows."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kontor.
Company: Presidio VC Offices
Location:
San Francisco

"Feldman architecture worked around the existing column structure of a building near San Francisco’s Presidio to design an office for a prominent venture capital firm. Using wood partitions that contrast with the concrete pillars, the firm defined a progression of spaces that draws visitors through the office and takes maximum advantage of an existing skylight. Handsome finishes and careful detailing give the office a tailored, but comfortable, feel."
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