In a few short weeks, employees at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters will be dining inside century-old log cabins shipped all the way from Montana. And Twitter isn't alone. The struggle to make corporate office life less stupefying and more cozy seems to have reached its logical conclusion with a new trend: Buildings within buildings.
For Twitter, it's all in keeping with the forest-themed design of its headquarters. (Bird logo, get it?) The reclaimed log cabins are supposed to be a more intimate refuge from the large, impersonal dining area, according to architect Olle Lundberg, who was interviewed in the Marin Independent Journal. Lundberg, by the way, "lives in a decommissioned Icelandic car ferry docked at Pier 54." But I digress.
Twitter is hardly the first company to put buildings within buildings inside its offices. Take Airbnb, for example, whose conferences rooms are inspired by the apartments listed on its site. That's how you get this little cabin, an in-house version of a mushroom dome cabin in Aptos, California:
Top image by Chad Riley via Office Snapshots.
And then there are these cabin-like cubicles at Pixar:
via Office Snapshots
Inventionland's 70,000-square foot Pittsburgh headquarters is divided up into 15 different sets, which range from treehouse to pirate ship to castle:
via Office Snapshots
For fans of more a minimalist style, there's always reclaimed shipping containers. Brightly colored containers divide up the space at the architectural firm Group 8's Geneva office. Fittingly enough, the office used to be an industrial warehouse.
Regis Golay/Federal Studio via Inc
There's a small—perhaps you could say cynical—part of me that feels slightly unsettled by the more elaborate buildings within buildings. They can be beautiful and even cozy refuges from a vast, open-plan office. But something about the simulated coziness makes it seem like an attempt to subsume non-work life—especially at companies whose headquarters already feature caterers, gyms, laundry, and arcades.
But, hey, this is coming from someone who works at home. What do you think of these offices?
Top image: Karl Beckmann of Beckmann Engineering