We created a sophisticated headquarters for this savvy young tech company, whose distinctive tastes and commitment to design values laid the foundation for an excellent project. Elegant, ordered architecture and interiors reflect the owners’ style and vision, and temper the orthogonal rigor of the building shell. Equitability, transparency and community are fundamental to Checkr and therefore to the design—the company’s core values and approach to services relies on these attributes, as does their friendly, smart, respectful company culture.
With an entire financial district building under lease, occupancy started on two upper floors for their near-term staff and operations; with the option to take on more space as they grow. Phase one was the 20th floor, and phase two is underway on the 19th—each a complete 20,000 GSF gut and redo. We likened the 20th floor’s 360-degree views to being in the treetops, and the idea that this perspective gives the staff a keen advantage as they work. An investment in custom acoustic ceiling panels replaced an odious drop ceiling, and the donut-shaped floor plan uses workstation pods to maintain openness while defining the space. The lunch room is a multi-function spaces, serving “all hands on deck” meetings, as well as hosting outside mixers, events and ‘fireside chats’. Other amenities of the HQ include a yoga lounge, a library for quiet time (with real books and no cell phones), and phone booths for private conversation while ‘treetop’ viewing.
On the 19th floor we introduced a ‘jazz bar’ destination space—born out of our thinking about treetops and freedom, which led to birds, which, of course, led us to Charlie “Bird” Parker and jazz! Like a forest at night, the bar’s finishes, fixtures and furnishings are dark and moody, and include a service area with a hand-hammered aged brass island and coffee bar. The ping pong table was a top criteria for Checkr’s program, to enable the ace players on staff to keep up their game. Also integral to the aesthetic, the art program throughout was developed as another expression of Checkr’s values and culture; featuring local artists to express their connection to the San Francisco Bay Area, and prison artists to underscore their commitment to authenticity.