Inside Netflix

Designed by Form4 Architecture

January 25, 2019 | by Tim Gerber

Office Spotlight:101-111 Albright Way

We were very impressed with Form4 Architecture’s office design for Netflix in Los Gatos, CA. We reached out to their design team and learned more.

SquareFoot

What’s the first thing someone would notice in this office?

Form4 Architecture 

It’s a rich, vibrant space with a relaxed feeling to it. The double-height lobby attracts visitors with glowing light and an array of natural materials, from stone floors and wood ceilings, to hand-flamed steel panels. We wanted the first experience to feel welcoming, as if you were at a high-end hotel with spa-like ambience.

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What does this office say about the company you designed it for?

Form4 Architecture 

That it’s a friendly, people-oriented company that values the importance of the working environment for its employees. We designed Netflix Headquarters to exude a warm modernism at a human scale. Those who use the streaming service are essentially inviting Netflix into their homes, so the design needed to feel accessible, friendly, and inviting. The public spaces in the building reinforce those concepts with the design, which features an eclectic material palette to mirror the brand’s something-for-everyone approach. Warm colors and varied textures impart a residential vibe as a nod to the indoor environments where Netflix is most often experienced.

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Describe the layout of this office. How does this office design encourage creativity, productivity, and team happiness?

Form4 Architecture 

Two buildings, totaling 241,000 square feet, are connected by a slender bridge located mid-air allowing for a free flow from building to building. The office is designed to be delicate and refined, with a seamless relationship to light and nature. The interiors throughout focus on the movement and connection of collaborative spaces, blurring the distinction between work and social areas. Various ceiling textures—wooden slats, glowing white acoustical fabric, and hanging red lights—delineate different gathering spaces. Textured copper-paneled columns and undulating lines accent walkways. Workspaces are open and light filled with a series of small meeting rooms playfully named after popular movies. Open collaborative spaces are separated by working partitions with dry-erase surfaces for brainstorming.

At the heart of each floor is the town hall, a circular gathering place where people can come together as a community. Distinguished by a different color on each floor, it serves as a central meeting and collaborative space featuring an alluring sculptural lighting installation. As an alternative workspace, it provides a playful area to work on tasks as a respite from the intense work done in cubicles.

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What does the space do best?

Form4 Architecture 

It balances the eclecticism that Netflix desired, while allowing for a more effective layout. We learned that Netflix has a more mature workforce as compared to other Silicon Valley groups, so it was important to factor that into the design. The company has an eye for talent with deep experience, relying on those who can focus efficiently on task-driven timelines. The overall design creates a relaxed and collaborative workspace to reinforce the client’s culture.

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What went into choosing the colors and materials for the office’s decor?

Form4 Architecture 

A primary color palette works to delineate the various spaces in the office. We picked them to engender a richness, as well as to ensure each floor would avoid appearing repetitious. It also allows for a certain level of quirkiness throughout.

In addition to color, we used wall graphics—culled from stills of popular movies and television shows around the world—to divide the building geographically so that each floor represents a different continent. This aspect came from our design of Netflix’s previous campus, originally across the street. It was nice to bring that part of its history into the new space.

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What is your favorite part of this office?

Form4 Architecture 

It would have to be the café, which is the main social space. At the center of the office is the first-floor cafeteria, which offers several seating options, including intimate booths as well as communal tables made of rough-hewn wood planks. It’s an expansive, light-filled two-story environment incorporating a variety of work-friendly spaces. It functions as workspace or dining area during different parts of the day. I really enjoy how it opens out into a large outdoor courtyard and garden space that features mature redwood trees ranging from 40 to 100 feet in height.


Photographer: Frank Perez, John Sutton

Designer: Form4 Architecture

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