Jillian Northrup's blog

Coolest Office Spaces In SF

A couple of our projects were just picked up for this article on the Coolest Office Spaces In SF.

While we think that all of our SF office projects are the coolest, we'll take the good press!

This article calls out specifically one of our lastest projects done for the new Dolby Headquarters on Market Street in downtown SF.
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It also calls out an older project of ours that was super fun to work on, the Three Rings Design office, also in downtown SF.
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We're assuming they did not mention these cool shipping container lounges we did for the new Google office just a few months ago, because they are in MountainView.... so that would not fall under the same headline. We understand. But converting those shipping containers into amazing little office lounge spaces sure was a fun project. And they came out so cool!
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And of course they could not know about the awesome new office spaces that we're creating for The Port Co-working in the Kaiser Building, Oakland.
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That project has yet to be fully revealed, but the 3rd floor co-working office space and event spaces are open and looking great. Can't wait to reveal the rest of that project soon!

The Port Co-Working new Location

We are very excited about 2016 and some of our great projects that will open this new year!
For much of 2015 we helped The Port WorkingSpaces open a new and ambitious project in Oakland by Lake Merritt.

The roof deck and 3rd floor co-working space there has been open for months. The other two exciting spaces will open soon in 2016!
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We have been working hard to get those two final spaces done so we can show them off, as they are looking really great!

Meanwhile, here are some images of the completed 3rd Floor and roof deck comprising of co-working spaces with large communal tables, meeting rooms,
lounges and event areas both indoor and out.

When you enter the 3rd floor and walk through the large double doors, you are greeted by this really cool space. Once a large restaurant, we kept all the
original molding and wood details wood, just updating the paint, carpet and lighting.
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Some of the furniture we sourced, and the rest of it we designed made to have the perfect aesthetic and functionality for the space, like these large
walnut tables on rolling legs.
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Big tube steel legs add a cool aesthetic and make for a very sturdy table on locking casters.
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Some of the rolling tables were done in half rounds that can be joined together to add more diversity to the seating options.
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For the indoor event areas of the 3rd floor we designed and made these hard wood Machiche tables.
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The lounge area by the indoor event space we designed with these long, low bench seats.
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Then finally, as you enter onto the roof deck you see that much of it has been covered in thick, soft astroturf with modular sofa seating.
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We even got a Tiki Bar up there! With awesome hanging personal hammocks that add fun color and flair.
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Go check out the space for yourself! The roof garden, event spaces, meeting rooms and co-working spaces are available for bookings,
so you'll probably get invited to a party there shortly if you don't book one yourself!

Dynamo Benches at Autodesk University

We just got back from showing off our latest design project at Autodesk University in Vegas. Being a CAD technology conference, we used Autodesk Dynamo to programmatically create these "benches" as a seating area around the 'Hive' area. These benches weren't drawn, or even modeled, they were 100% made via Dynamo. 'Generative Design' is design technique where you create goal-driven custom computer programs that then generate the design, and in this case, even the final built object itself.

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A proof of concept project, we made a point to show off the fasteners, brackets and assembly numbering system on the back. Every connector and triangle are completely unique, so every one needed a label for assembly.

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Spanning over 12ft long, each triangle is the perfect shape to create the long undulating form. There's no internal ribs or framework, just triangles and connectors.

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Easily assembled and disassembled with one tool, the triangles bolt into place, aligning with their numbered threaded bracket.

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This was a fun project that allowed us to push limits of programmatic design and fabrication entirely with Dynamo. If you'd like to join in the fun, we've open-sourced our fabrication-focused Dynamo add-ons, and you can find them here on GitHub.

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Several thousand bolts, hundreds of triangles, ten days, five people, and one Dynamo script to make both benches. Being artists, fabricators, architects, and builders, our company is able to produce creative elements like this quickly and easily, and make it look really cool in the end! Just think of what we could do for you.

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November 2015 Make Magazine

If you happen to pick up this months issue of Make Magazine, you will see a nice big photo of a piece we made for The Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi.
Check it out!
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The article is all about the cool things you can do with subtractive fabrication. Which is what we have been integrating into our projects for over 10 years!
If you want to see more about this showcased project check it out on our project page.

East Bay Mini MakerFaire - This Sunday!

We'll be presenting at East Bay Mini Maker Fair this Sunday, Oct 18th at 12:15PM
Come on by and say hello!

We'll be presenting in the Magnolia Bldg Great Room on the "MAD SKILLZ STAGE"
That alone should make you want to come see us.

Our talk will be on Making to Make: How Creating Our Own Custom Tools Helps Us Make Great Things

We would love to see you. This is a great smaller Maker Faire that is interesting to the whole family.
Sunday, Oct 18th 10AM-5PM.
Park Day School, 360 42nd St, Oakland

Use the discount code: MAKERFRIEND for 15% off tickets - but you must buy tickets BEFORE midnight Sat night as this is no good day of the show.

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NewCo Event at BWC this Thursday

The NewCo Event is happening this week with lots of cool business opening their doors and giving presentations of the goings on inside.
We're participating this Thursday morning, and we hope to see you there!

Visit us at our office during @NewCo Oakland Oct 8. Get 30% off tickets with the code HC30Oak
#NewCoOAK

New Dolby Headquarters

The new Dolby Headquarters on Market street in downtown San Francisco has been getting some great press.
We were excited to work on the project, helping to fill the building with walls of Dolby relevant art!

Our projects were mentioned in these recent articles. One in The Chronicle and one in Fast Company.

You can read more about the 16 story office building filled with commissioned art, and see images and descriptions of our pieces in CNET and Business Insider.

To see all the pieces we did for this skyscraper of a building, check out our Dolby Art Walls project page.

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Knob Wall Video

A few weeks ago we finished up this cool Knob Wall project we designed for Dolby's new headquarters in San Francisco.
The wall has 1287 knobs along a 40 ft wall. A few of the knobs on the corner control the bottom LED strip, making it a fun, interactive piece.
Here's a quick video and some making of photos!


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It All Comes Together

At Because We Can, we like to integrate fun and interesting details into our projects. We are primarily a design studio, but by keeping the more elaborate fabrication in house, we have been able to push our projects aesthetics into creative areas, while maintaining the budget. We try to keep everything in house to keep costs down, but sometimes it makes sense to have another shop help with the fabrication.

By working with multiple machines & shops at the same time, we can be efficient and productive. Because of our digital BIM workflow, we can know that it will all come together.

For the Asbury Discovery Center in MS, we sent out the stainless pieces of these window frames to get waterjet cut by another shop.
We fabricated the rest of the parts in our shop, made of wood and exterior rated plastic.
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Here the window frame is shown in it's final assembly of stainless steel, black plastic and wooden spacers (unseen).
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This rolling bar is another great example. With its gear driven extending wings it had stainless steel parts throughout for both decorative and functional use. The stainless steel parts were cut by a waterjet shop near by. The wooden carcass and other elements were fabricated in our shop, then it was then all assembled like a kit of parts.
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The stainless bar pieces, laid out and ready for assembling.
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Assembling the bar goes quickly and easily, because everything is modeled to high detail, and then the pieces are created off of that model.
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We love adding these details to our projects. We are able to end up with a rich, fun aesthetic that might be too cost prohibitive otherwise. But with the integrated use of BIM and our in house fabrication team, as well as the local shops we use regularly, we are able to get the aesthetic we're hoping while maintaining the budget (and the fun!) of the project.
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Oakland Commercial Project

We're really excited about this project we've been working on in Oakland.
It is part office space, part restaurant, part hang out.
The designs have been really coming along, and soon we'll have lots of stuff to show with lots of information.
For now, here is a sneak at some images.

This is a view of the office. Bringing in some warm textures and plant life to liven up this bunker like space.
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A cafe design in it's preliminary form. Using more of the modular interlocking wood triangles to create separation between areas.

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More early office designs as we are flushing out how the space will look and feel.
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Finally- the outside terrace! We're very excited about this space. We've been working very closely with this client to create spaces that are highly functional and uniquely designed.
And this terrace is no exception. While this outside terrace is all fun and hang out time, a lot has gone into the planning and flow of this design to create an incredibly usable functional fun hang out area. What's not to like!?!

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