The inevitable result of putting lots of creative people together in one place is a cool, quirky office space with great design. For us, however, this wasn’t always the case. Only two years ago, the office we currently inhabit was a dark, cramped honeycomb of cubicles that didn’t suit us well at all. With full creative license, Paul Roeraade (Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder) worked with R+L Architects to transform our workplace into a beautiful open space that is at once rustic, modern, natural and functional.
When I walk into our office today, the first thing that strikes me is the open, airy quality of the space. So much natural light spills over the hardwood floors that the edgy black lamps over the workstations are more fashion than function (with so much light, they usually remain off). On the left is our conference room, lined with wooden slats that evoke a pleasant rusticity. On the right is our office manager’s custom-built black walnut desk, eminently functional as well as beautiful. Just beyond the conference room is our lounge area from which you see a long, open line of workstations. The dark wooden walls and glass doors of the offices across from the workstations make for a warm, yet modern view.
Combining the rustic and modern elements
Paul used Cloudberry’s bold color palette and our mutual love of the outdoors to create a seamless blend of rustic and modern characteristics. It hints at our belief that natural spaces promote creativity as well as the straightforward functionality required for a smoothly running workplace.
Among the rustic elements is a tall, black walnut bar handcrafted by Paul for the Cloudberry kitchen.
On the modern side, we have a Cloudberry-shaped lamp designed and built by Paul, glass “whiteboards” (it turns out, dry erase markers work on glass just as well as conventional boards), and angular black light fixtures over the conference room table as well as in the lounge and over the workstations.
Collaboration and line of sight: the workstations
Visibility and communication was an important consideration in the design of our office. Designed in a linear fashion, our clean-cut workstations with short frosted dividers foster creative and collaborative work. This view of the desks also opened up a neat expression of our brand: Our symbol, the Cloudberry, is a berry native to Sweden which turns from red to orange to yellow as it ripens. In homage to our symbol, the small open cabinets located at the end of each work station progress from dark red to yellow along the length of the room. An exposed pipe in the background is also painted with Cloudberry orange.
Balancing transparency & privacy: the conference room
A lot of thought went into the design of our conference room. With a custom-built conference table, modern chairs & light fixture, sliding glass “whiteboards,” and long vines draped over a glass wall, this room epitomizes our meld of rustic, natural and modern elements.
Our custom 13-foot long conference room table was built of oxidized maple by Mike Leggett. So large, it needed to be carried up to the 7th floor in two pieces and assembled on site.
Sliding glass “whiteboards” can be written on with dry erase markers just like any conventional board – but when wiped clean, they allow the room’s occupants to look through the shelves and outside to the rest of the office.
Creating a room that is visible yet private was a challenge. Too little visibility, and the room would feel claustrophobic. Too much, and our meetings and brainstorming sessions would feel like they were occurring in a fishbowl. The solution? Build one wall of glass, and then cover in trailing Potus vines, trained to climb up to the ceiling.
Toward this end of the office is a little wooden sculpture with moveable limbs we affectionately refer to as the “Cloud Bear.” Made by David Weeks and given to us by our art director Jeff Perky, the Cloud Bear has become a sort of office mascot, often dressed in seasonally appropriate apparel and creatively posed.
So there you have it, a behind-the-scenes look at our office. With so many elements involved in its design it seemed worthy of explanation. We love our rustic, modern, natural and functional space – bear statue and all. Good design is a wonderful thing.