ARCHITECT | November 2, 2018
Leaders in award-winning architecture, California-based MBH Architects is announcing the completion of Allbirds’ new headquarters in San Francisco. The brand, which develops eco-friendly footwear out of natural materials, tapped MBH to create an office space that would honor the brand’s focus on simplicity and design.
Situated in Jackson Square, one of San Francisco’s oldest historic districts, the 13,000-square-foot office pays homage to the building’s history and original architecture. The team preserved existing millwork and, on the second of the office’s two levels, restored exposed brick that is a signature of the neighborhood. Upon entering the clean, open-plan workspace on the ground floor, the company’s signature whimsical doodles, the creation of the New Zealand illustrator Toby Morris, greet visitors and employees. The lobby includes another quintessential Allbirds touch – a wool wallcovering that features the Allbirds logo, made from the same Merino wool that is used in the brand’s signature Wool Runner shoe. Along with tables and seating for communal gatherings, the lobby area is rounded out by glass-enclosed breakout spaces suitable for both collaborative and solo work. The focal point of the office is a grand central stair, which MBH added to improve internal connectivity between the two floors. The new office’s second floor highlights the building’s restored, exposed brick and original street signage taken from its exterior. This floor features several multi-functional zones with open workstations, glass-enclosed conference rooms, “callbirds” phone rooms, and additional collaboration spaces.
“We have a history of joining forces with Allbirds, having first worked on their Montgomery Street pop-up and previous office space in San Francisco,” said Ryan McNulty, a Senior Associate at MBH Architects. “We find that our values align nicely—they bring a unique and transparent approach to shoe design and we bring a novel tact when it comes to architecture. Together, we have built a dynamic and future-minded office that will support the brand’s continued growth.” In addition, MBH worked with Allbirds on their new San Francisco and New York City flagship stores, which debuted earlier later this month. The firm is also slated to partner with Allbirds at the International Retail Design Conference in Seattle on October 3rd for a discussion on defining the built-aesthetics of a new brand, including brick-and-mortar locations and the transformation of spaces into lifestyles.