kpe, an early Web-design and venture-capital firm, wanted an open, fluid environment to foster creativity and chance encounters among employees. The rhythmic design emphasizes a sense of openness and an awareness of the location. The potentially oppressive tight slab height is overcome by suspending aluminum ceiling panels in a radial wave pattern, giving the effect of a much lighter, higher canopy. This sea of reflective scales, whose varying angles refract light according to vantage and time of day, creates a moiré effect. Boundaries between groups are blurred, creating more opportunities for interaction and increasing overall cohesion. Expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and Topanga Canyon are available by virtue of a perimeter promenade, with spaces for personal reflection, as well as group interactions.
Client: kpe (Mark Patricof, Chuck Wood, Mike Pinney)
Design Team: Maria Westerstahl, Oliver Kienzi
Builder: Pinnacle, Wavell-Huber (millwork)
Photographer: Marvin Rand