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Inside Vans Global HQ

Designed by Rapt Studio

February 6, 2019 | by Tim Gerber
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Tootell

Office Spotlight: 1588 South Coast Drive

In 2017, Rapt Studio completed the design for Vans Global HQ in Costa Mesa . We reached out to Rapt Studio and learned more about their design.


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

Rapt Studio 

The entire office is organized around a central courtyard, through which staff enters every day and against which all of the public circulation on all three floors runs. Linking the interior spaces to the outdoor spaces, an iconic red staircase becomes the literal and figurative symbol of connection between the varied groups housed within. It connects the first-floor café with the second-floor coffee area and the third-floor outdoor terrace BBQ. In fact, if everyone at the office left their desk, there would be enough space for each person to work remotely inside and outside the building.


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

Rapt Studio 

The storytelling of the Vans brand through the years has been powerful, of-the-moment, and totally immersed in current street culture. The brand has stood on four pillars – Art, Music, Action Sports, and Street Culture and Fashion – and in essence this office was designed to serve as a blank page on which their story could continue to be written, a gallery on which the brand could be displayed.

While Vans is proud of its history, it also embraces innovation, and the new space needed to allow for growth and change. We left room for the brand and the space to evolve, and for its future to take hold  – highlighting artists of today and tomorrow, showcasing new products alongside classics, and serving as an ever-changing gallery of the visual expression.

The reception area includes a skateable concrete bench, and the large courtyard will continue to draw people outside into the great California weather, to gather and connect.


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

Rapt Studio 

Rapt facilitated workshops to uncover the truths of Vans workplace interactions. How did employees work individually, with product, and with each other? Resulting data delivered a series of work “postures” that we set out to support and foster. From there, we piloted custom furniture that advocated for those postures, and for more creative interactions and collaborations. This has afforded a culture of more open communication.

We also increased the size of personal workspaces, so that designers, merchandisers, and developers had plenty of space to work directly with product. This isn’t a workplace where “one size fits all,” but instead a place that offers a variety of options.

In homage to the brand’s deep roots in music, a jam room is available to staff so they can break out into song any time, and each conference room is “wired for sound” with Bluetooth. Murals, classic skateboard art, and all sorts of street art decorate the walls and confirm the company’s commitment to artistic expression.


Photographer: Eric Laignel

Designer: Rapt Studio

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