Mar 08, 2021

Outdoor Spaces We Love

For a Breath of Fresh Air

Humans crave connecting with the great outdoors and it’s why we bring nature into built environments. But studies show the biggest benefits occur when we get back out into nature, and that even the smallest amount of time outdoors can help. While we’re thinking about best ways to bring people back to the workplace, to safe, engaging, comfortable environments, here are some creative kick starters for outdoor...and mid-door hybrid spaces (as coined by Brian Stromquist/Gensler SF.)

Collected are some of our favorite indoor outdoor spaces from previous projects and we’re delighted to credit the talented architect and designers who considered place, purpose and people as they developed their successful designs.

HanaHaus, Palo Alto

Merging café, co-working and public space, HanaHaus blends the indoors and the outdoors through holistic design. Mirroring the historic building architecture in the interior renovation, combined with support to current technology and work style requirements, Corinda Wong/Gensler San Jose designed a coworking space that was ahead of its time in 2015 and is now perfectly suited to meet the needs of post Covid workers.

HanaHaus Palo Alto design by Gensler San Jose
Hana Haus Palo Alto by Gensler San Jose

California State University, Sacramento

What happens at your typical Student Union today? Everything from gathering, counseling, access to resources, dining, working and meetups. The Student Union renovation at Sacramento State carries the bold interior colors outside into extended gathering spaces. Bold colors on simple forms adjacent to intricate landscaping with the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex as a backdrop, creates an unconscious tension that can even energize the most exhausted college student.

Photography by Ti Amo Images
Photo by Ti Amo Images

Symantec, San Francisco

A roof deck in the shadow of Salesforce Tower with access to great light and spectacular urban views, offers privacy, transparency and full choice of work environments to use throughout the day. AP+I included landscaping, shade features and temperature control to enhance the Symantec user experience. The interior patterns and textures, natural light and transparency build a comfortable bridge between indoors and outside. And who doesn't love a roof deck in the City?

For more photos, view the project.

Photo by John Sutton Photography
Photo by John Sutton Photography

LinkedIn Lessons

Awareness, interest and and accolades have flowed for Brett Hautop and the LinkedIn Workplace Experience team's experimentation with outside workspaces. Using earlier research and experimentation to inform a beta project, the team leveraged the benefits from nature and designed functional outside spaces on the Sunnyvale campus where people can actually get heads-down work done. Working with LinkedIn, Steelcase and Extremis to design the solution, the project drove innovation. Since it offered the first opportunity for engineers to take their work outside, the spaces were popular before Covid ... so imagine the demand once more folks return to the workplace.

Photo by LinkedIn

It's Home

We can't help but add the sweetest corner in our Santa Clara headquarters. The rolling garage door beckons to be opened, and floods the space with the day's changing light. And we're lucky to be able to use the space opened to the outside most of the year. While the furnishings in the setting often change, you're guaranteed to find some interior greenery to amplify the connection to outdoors, no matter the weather.

Photo by One Workplace

With all the interest and enthusiasm for moving work outdoors, we can't wait to see the creativity and innovation to come. And we've got the experience, knowledge and resources ready to help build your outdoor space.