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Simplicity By Subtraction

Twilio is a publicly traded cloud communications company that gives businesses the ability to innovate, prototype, create, and connect with their customers through real-time communication and authentication capabilities.

To accommodate a rapidly expanding staff and need for additional space, Twilio relocated its San Francisco headquarters to a 90,000 SF space split over two floors. Blitz explored these solutions through a “simplicity by subtraction” design approach. The design team made a concentrated effort to remove materials, such as finished drywall, and replaced them with unconventional materials to create a space that is economical, interesting, and uniquely Twilio.

TWILIO

LOCATION
san francisco, california
SIZE
90,000 SF
SCOPE
architecture
interior design
furniture design
lighting design

Blitz just really "got us". From initial concept and design through execution and seeing it come to life, they found unique ways to capture our culture and values in our new space. Plus, they were an all-around fun team to work with. Creative, solutions-focused, and fun... you really couldn't ask for anything more! ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

MICHELLE KEMLING, SENIOR DIRECTOR, TALENT DEVELOPMENT, TWILIO

The subtraction concept is best seen in the design of semi-enclosed collaborative spaces playfully called “un-rooms.”

The “un-room” spaces were designed without doors and ceilings and constructed from standard metal framing clad in low cost materials like polycarbonate plastic and oriented stand board (OSB) painted in Twilioʼs brand colors. This innovative and efficient solution combines pops of color with multiple textures and patterns while creating separation for staff having informal breakouts or independent concentrated work.

Another simple and effective strategy was the use of felt and ceiling panels as an alternative to standard ceiling construction. This low cost solution added acoustic absorption throughout the office while minimizing the need for additional construction.

A primary focal point of the office is the large pantry and cafe space located directly adjacent to the main entry. The event space is highly flexible allowing for weekly all-hands meetings, team “family dinner” nights, and for hosting regular events for the local developer community. The space features a state of the art integrated A/V system with 30 subwoofers that can be used for conference presentations and the occasional Twilio hack-a-thon.

Inspired by Twilioʼs original desks, which were DIY solutions crafted out of doors and 2x4 lumber found at local hardware stores, the design team worked closely with the furniture vendor to create a custom sit-to-stand workstation that utilized a height-adjustable base with a wooden door top. These unique solutions made a playful reference to the Twilio company history while providing a more streamlined solution that responds to the need for future growth and flexibility.

Another design challenge was creating a bright and open reception area that would allow natural daylight to penetrate through but also comply with Twilioʼs security needs to make the area private and separate from the workstations. The solution was to add glass walls on both sides of the adjacent board room that allow light to flow in from nearby exterior windows. Additionally, custom OSB wall paneling and the reception desk create a balance of raw and exposed materials with the companyʼs signature red color. The custom reception desk is also dual-purpose as it is used as a hospitality station when Twilio holds company events.

Clean lines, exposed materials, and custom-crafted elements create a simple and efficient solution that illustrates Twilio’s commitment to solving problems thoughtfully with a uniquely grounded approach.

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Twilio

Project Details +

Project Details -

LOCATION

san francisco, california

SIZE

90,000 SF

SCOPE

architecture
interior design
furniture design
lighting design

Twilio is a publicly traded cloud communications company that gives businesses the ability to innovate, prototype, create, and connect with their customers through real-time communication and authentication capabilities.

To accommodate a rapidly expanding staff and need for additional space, Twilio relocated its San Francisco headquarters to a 90,000 SF space split over two floors. Blitz explored these solutions through a “simplicity by subtraction” design approach. The design team made a concentrated effort to remove materials, such as finished drywall, and replaced them with unconventional materials to create a space that is economical, interesting, and uniquely Twilio.

/Blitz just really "got us". From initial concept and design through execution and seeing it come to life, they found unique ways to capture our culture and values in our new space. Plus, they were an all-around fun team to work with. Creative, solutions-focused, and fun... you really couldn't ask for anything more! /​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

MICHELLE KEMLING, SENIOR DIRECTOR, TALENT DEVELOPMENT, TWILIO

The subtraction concept is best seen in the design of semi-enclosed collaborative spaces playfully called “un-rooms.”

The “un-room” spaces were designed without doors and ceilings and constructed from standard metal framing clad in low cost materials like polycarbonate plastic and oriented stand board (OSB) painted in Twilioʼs brand colors. This innovative and efficient solution combines pops of color with multiple textures and patterns while creating separation for staff having informal breakouts or independent concentrated work.

Another simple and effective strategy was the use of felt and ceiling panels as an alternative to standard ceiling construction. This low cost solution added acoustic absorption throughout the office while minimizing the need for additional construction.

A primary focal point of the office is the large pantry and cafe space located directly adjacent to the main entry. The event space is highly flexible allowing for weekly all-hands meetings, team “family dinner” nights, and for hosting regular events for the local developer community. The space features a state of the art integrated A/V system with 30 subwoofers that can be used for conference presentations and the occasional Twilio hack-a-thon.

Inspired by Twilioʼs original desks, which were DIY solutions crafted out of doors and 2x4 lumber found at local hardware stores, the design team worked closely with the furniture vendor to create a custom sit-to-stand workstation that utilized a height-adjustable base with a wooden door top. These unique solutions made a playful reference to the Twilio company history while providing a more streamlined solution that responds to the need for future growth and flexibility.

Another design challenge was creating a bright and open reception area that would allow natural daylight to penetrate through but also comply with Twilioʼs security needs to make the area private and separate from the workstations. The solution was to add glass walls on both sides of the adjacent board room that allow light to flow in from nearby exterior windows. Additionally, custom OSB wall paneling and the reception desk create a balance of raw and exposed materials with the companyʼs signature red color. The custom reception desk is also dual-purpose as it is used as a hospitality station when Twilio holds company events.

Clean lines, exposed materials, and custom-crafted elements create a simple and efficient solution that illustrates Twilio’s commitment to solving problems thoughtfully with a uniquely grounded approach.

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SF

415.525.9179

435 JACKSON STREET

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111

LA

310.343.5856

2633 FAIRFAX AVENUE

CULVER CITY, CA 90232

DENVER

720.370.1618

1800 WAZEE STREET, SUITE 363
DENVER, CO 80202

© 2020 BLITZ

SF

415.525.9179

435 JACKSON STREET

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111

LA

310.343.5856

2633 FAIRFAX AVENUE

CULVER CITY, CA 90232

DENVER

720.370.1618

1800 WAZEE STREET, SUITE 363

DENVER, CO 80202

© 2020 BLITZ