January 30, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: Office Café/Cafeteria

How do you create community? That was the challenge extended to principals Primo Orpilla and Denise Cherry for the headquarters of this crowd-sourcing website, its 700 employees spread over 106,000 square feet on 13 levels of Pacific Bell’s onetime home, an art deco tower built in 1925. The answer to that question turned out to be…food. Orpilla and Cherry programmed one of the levels with a café including a coffee bar. “People pass through once or twice, even three times a day,” Orpilla says. That’s partly because of a location that Cherry calls “no accident”—the training room is here, too.

The coffee bar keeps Yelpers on their toes, starting with morning cappuccino, and the café buzzes with convivial energy at the lunch rush. Still, Orpilla wondered about the quieter moments: “If it’s all going to be open, how do you bring in some intimacy when it’s not packed?” A rustic chandelier made with looping rope and booths with diner-style comfort help. Beer does, too. Yelpers bellying up to the high-tech bar can browse tap-list touch screens to see what their friends drank—and, of course, how they rated it.

Project Team: Verda Alexander; Perry Stephney; Clem Soga; Elizabeth Guerrero; David Hunter; Alma Lopez; Renee Laput-Mendoza; Sarunya Wongjodsri; Jeorge Jordan; Olivia Ward; Kroeun Dav; Chase Lunt.

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