San Francisco Chronicle

The design concept of the San Francisco Chronicle Office draws inspiration from the vibrant city itself, incorporating elements that reflect the surrounding urban environment. The intention is to create a workspace that serves as a constant reminder to the occupants that they are reporting on the city just outside their doors. These elements include interpretations of iconic bridges, the bay, and various neighborhoods, all connected through collaborative spaces. Intimate areas for casual meetings and conversations take inspiration from the city's parklets and newspaper stands.

The overall look and feel of the space can be described as a blend of heritage and innovation. It strikes a balance between the historical significance of the original building, exposing raw concrete floors and columns, and the introduction of traditional finishes like brick and reclaimed wood, adding texture and richness. These materials are seamlessly integrated with more refined elements such as metal beams, white stone countertops, carpets, and classic furniture pieces. This combination of materials reflects the Chronicle's evolution from a traditional media company to a more innovative and cutting-edge organization.

The design of the Chronicle's lobby pays homage to the newspaper's history and creates a welcoming and nostalgic atmosphere. Historical elements like beautifully detailed wood-carved elevator jambs and stained glass windows are preserved as a tribute to the space's past. Weathered brick and luxury vinyl plank floors contribute to the overall aesthetic.

As a transition from the historical lobby, a large glass wall provides a view into the bustling Newsroom, which features a modern open office environment. Adjacent to this wall is the Media Wall, a large interactive multi-media display showcasing content from the SF Chronicle and SF Gate. This wall symbolically represents the transition from traditional print media to a reinvented multimedia office.

The structures and larger program elements of the space, including the training room, small conference rooms, and the entry lobby, draw inspiration from San Francisco's iconic bridges. These areas feature reclaimed wood walls with overhead beams that converge at the "Bay," which acts as a central gathering space for all departments, such as News, Marketing, Advertising, HR, Finance, and the Executives. The Bay fosters casual collaboration and impromptu meetings, with its open and raw finishes accommodating larger gatherings for all-hands meetings, special events, and social gatherings. Key features within the Bay include The Barista, a self-serve coffee area with a white quartz countertop and reclaimed wood base, The Amphitheater, a stepped seating area that allows wireless work and presentations, and The Wine Display, a temperature-controlled showcase for the Chronicle's wine collection.

Radiating from the Bay is the Open Office, where all departments are situated in an open office environment with benching-style systems furniture. This layout promotes collaboration and provides panoramic views across the office. Phone booths inspired by newspaper stands throughout the city offer quiet spaces for calls or interviews, allowing departments to personalize their space through decal graphics or digital displays. Parklets, similar to those found in the city, are conveniently located within the neighborhoods, offering casual collaboration spaces with two to four-person tables. Connectors serve as larger conference rooms for more formal meetings and presentations.

project in collaboration with Jacobs