“Two years ago, a new headquarters was just a vision, but through Stephen Baker’s creativity and teamwork something magical resulted.” said Julie Bradley, CFO of TripAdvisor. “TripAdvisor has solidified its culture. We now have the opportunity to collaborate across teams in a space that expresses the cultural nuances and global connection that TripAdvisor stands for.”
The design of TripAdvisor World Headquarters responds to the challenge of a website company trying to develop their own sense of place in an environment that deals exclusively with the digital. The website navigates travel destinations through user experiences and breaks down an area by sharing memories of popular and defining landmarks. TripAdvisor creates a platform for users to share experiences and memories of places that has reworked the way people visit travel destinations. The architecture of the headquarters embraces a love of travel and pulls it through the design. Each floor of the 26200 square meter office is associated with a different continent. The materials, finishes, and artifacts were carefully chosen to create a palette that evokes memories from the different locations shared by users on the website. The TripAdvisor Headquarters is not one destination but a gateway back to all of these experiences shared on the website.
This World Headquarters Project reflects an importance on all things Travel. User experience for all team members is a core value for this global company and is expressed in every detail of the interior. Each story is associated with a continent. Names of the meeting rooms, phone rooms, and feature spaces on each floor reinforce the concept. The artwork and artifacts are carefully chosen to reflect the region, as well. Moroccan baskets hang above a lounge work area, clogs are whimsically displayed on the wall of a small meeting room, and Portuguese tiles clad one of the phone rooms. A passion for travel is embraced by finishes and mementos that brand the company through the office space. Each experience connects back to a central atrium space, known as the Forum, that transitions between different travel destinations and work spaces in the headquarters.
The Forum lays at the heart of the building; opening into a four story gathering point for daily presentations, lunches, and informal get-togethers. The monumental space transforms from atrium to conference center when the 1500 employees gather along the steps and balconies to participate in the livestreamed meetings to the other branches of the international office. The Forum delivers a technologically advanced central video projection system with theater lighting, acoustic treatments, and video capture capabilities unusual to settings outside of performance theaters. The space was acoustically modeled where each material was tested for reverberation, and analyzed to ensure that the final space would support the softest to the strongest voices of presenters, allowing their message to be heard by all. The scale and audio-visual design of the Forum space overcomes the challenges of a web company constantly needing to connect back to virtual spaces in order to communicate globally. The heart of the atrium space becomes the portal through which the company accesses all other branches of the organization within the building and through the world.
400 First Avenue, Needham, Massachusetts, United States
Baker Design Group & Elkus Manfredi
Stephen Baker, Brittney Herrera, Sean Curran, Colleen Higgins, Sonya Randell, Marco Avalone, Steve Gilbert, Mike Sepenoski, Adam Heckman, Bryan Adair, Rachel Bacus
John Moriarty + Associates
Cossentini Associates, Communication Design Associates, Available Light, Northstar Project Management
OfficeWorks/Teknion LLC, Interface, Karndean, Buzzi Space/SL Group, Glamora/Dream Design Source
Robert Benson Photography, Michael Young Photography
Baker Design Group, Inc. is a Boston based firm that practices internationally bridges the design disciplines of Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Exhibit Design, and Planning. This diverse background of experience helps define the design connections and opportunities that lead to breakthrough results and innovations for clients.
Since its founding, BDG has embraced unique and challenging projects of all types and scales: from top secret space exploration research facilities to university master planning, historic building restoration in London and Paris to a large scale mixed-use high-rise complex in the Middle East. The firm currently has projects located in 12 countries outside of the United States. Each project embraces the unique nature of the region, people, and culture, while delivering world class results to fulfill the projects ambitions.