901 Cherry Lobby
San Francisco, CA
programming, interiors, experiential design
Occupying a building that once housed the Gap’s headquarters, YouTube found that the old lobby was out of step with the current brand and did not reflect the vibrancy of the workplace culture. As YouTube’s enterprise has matured, so have the aesthetic principles that can be found in their physical spaces. Natural materials, intuitive design, and multi-purpose functionality played a central role in the development of the new lobby. Underlying these principles was the desire to integrate a layer of digital media and interactivity into the architectural finishes to create a compelling fusion of technology and warm materials. This integration of physical and digital space became fitting symbolic gesture for the headquarters of a digital media company like YouTube.
The long two-story lobby space was stripped down to its underlying structure, and a large floor-to-ceiling LED wall was inserted between the exposed grid of steel. The display straddles the line between abstract installation and conventional LED screen, artfully displaying low-resolution video content with an ephemeral softness. Textured fabric wraps the screen allowing the LEDs to disappear when turned off, and giving the pixels a soft glow when turned on. The opposing wall contrasts the screen with natural wood paneling, lush greenwall, and communal seating providing a warm counterbalance to the large digital installation.
The new design streamlines circulation and creates spaces for people to both experience the installation and find solace for work. The new YouTube Lobby is now more than a point of entry, it is a destination for entertaining guests, showcasing creators and inspiring visitors.