In the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, the recent redesign of Skype’s Palo Alto HQ was carried out by the architectural practice of Blitz. The intention of the project was to create an exceptional work environment which would outdo their competitors and make it attractive to prospective employees in Skype’s constant search for the best talent in the IT market.

The philosophy of ‘Agile Thinking’ - the effect of environment on thought process and ‘Scrum Development’ - iterative idea generation - were employed in the design concept. As such, the 54.000 sq.ft. high ceilinged space which accommodates 250 employees, incorporated a variety of conceptual areas to encourage creative thinking through cooperation.

The individual workstations are located near the windows to enjoy natural daylight and meeting rooms, coffee kiosks and portable whiteboards for casual team meetings or random thoughts are centered in main access areas as a play on ‘meet in the middle’. Allocated chill out and social spaces allow for private and social activities within the office environment.

Furnished is high aesthetic though low key design pieces in muted shades work with glossy and matt surfaces, all with the specific acoustic requirements in supporting Skype’s extensive use of audio visuals. This people friendly commercial project has been awarded with the LEED Silver Certification.