Hitting “refresh” at every level of the company, Aol wanted a new look for its West Coast headquarters to reset what it meant to work at the revamped company. They took their cue from the new corporate logo: the company’s initials in a simple white typeface on a variety of colorful and lively backgrounds.
Their design employs the architectural “typeface” of honest materiality— the use 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, the material contractors use to separate spaces on construction sites, becomes, when sanded, shaped and finished, a surprisingly stylish accent used throughout the complex to elegant effect.
Creative lighting, colorful carpet on concrete floors, expansive sightlines, modern furniture—all contribute to a feeling of space liberated, a workplace that communicates what it is made of and how it was built. Their design features plain industrial surfaces with punches of color, custom graphics, and a mix of exposed and textured ceilings. The result–a design that embodies the qualities of the new Aol: transparency, collaboration, creativity, playfulness.