Dropbox’s new Mountain View office brought a Silicon Valley presence to their real estate portfolio. The location, just steps away from the Castro Street train station, was meant to attract and retain engineers living in the area. Dropbox wanted the workplace to align with their unique way of seeing the world: approachable, human-centered and a little bit unconventional. AP+I Design’s design team faced two additional challenges: working within the building’s narrow footprint and finding ways to mitigate the sound of passing trains.
To shield users from outside noise, AP+I created small neighborhoods specifically designed for engineering teams. These neighborhoods were located along the quiet side of the building. Shared program spaces such as micro-kitchens, large conference rooms and team spaces were located along the train side, creating a noise buffer. This strategic use of space isolated noise while creating recognizable groups within the open office footprint.
The project’s color palette was based on a recent brand refresh. Complimentary colors—sometimes in unexpected combinations—were used throughout. Soft lines and curves, meant to convey a sense of humanness, became a repeated design element that punctuated the narrow building.