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The Fair
A combination reception and barista station in a modern office space merging live and work spaces.
December 13, 2022

From a historic corner, a view to what’s next.

Studio O+A

When venture capital firm ARTIS Ventures moved their San Francisco office from a gritty downtown intersection to a quieter neighborhood steeped in local history, they knew they wanted to bring the same energy of the original location along in the move. Studio O+A, the award-winning interior design firm ARTIS partnered with on their first office, helped the company to do just that, creating another home-away-from-home in their new neighborhood of Jackson Square.

A combination reception and barista station in a modern office space merging live and work spaces.

A combination reception and barista station welcomes visitors immediately off the elevator

Keeping the same vision in mind from the planning of the first space, O+A sought to blur the line between office and apartment with a flexible, open plan that merges the functions of work, play, and everyday living. “We wanted to give the firm’s small staff, their clients, and guests a space with the comfort and informality of an apartment,” the design team shares.

A reception desk doubling as a barista station is the first thing visitors encounter as they step off the elevator, with an adjacent lounge offering a comfortable spot to answer an email or have a conversation. Opposite, an open kitchen features an extended island punctuated by a bar-height dining table, serving up another casual gathering space.

  • Custom reception area with fluted woodwork and marble countertops below designer lighting in a modern office space in San Francisco.
  • Coves and nooks with contemporary seating to promote conversation in a modern office space.
A structural wall supports the core communal spaces of a modern office in San Francisco.

O+A used a structural divider at the core of the space as an opportunity to bring people together, rather than separate them. The communal spaces—reception, lounge, kitchen, and guest workspace—collect around this central divide, unifying the two sides of the office along a bustling core.

Custom leather and wood banquette in a lounge space in a modern office.

“Lighting and furniture give the space’s nooks and perches a rare intimacy,” O+A explains, “A glass-walled conference room is the one concession to ‘office design,’ but its placement opposite the kitchen area gives the space a comfortably informal feel. Come for the meeting; stay for the food”

A sleek, modern kitchen area and extra long island provide a gathering space in a modern office.
  • Marble tables, custom fluted wood stools, and velvet upholstery are luxurious materials in a modern office.
  • A nook with a built-in leather banquette and custom ribbed oak paneling

Staying Power

The design team selected solid, sturdy materials for the space, outfitting it with marble, white oak, black oak, leather, and the existing structure’s historic brick walls. The choice was intentional—and symbolic; for a venture capital firm, investors are looking for ideas with the potential for durable growth and success.

  • Designer lighting above an Eames lounge chair in a modern San Francisco office of a venture capital firm.
  • Modern art gallery meets venture capital firm in a San Francisco office space

Gallery Space

ARTIS Ventures’ CEO Stuart Peterson, who serves on the Board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is himself a collector of art, furniture, and lighting. In the vision for the new office, a clean, gallery-like space with opportunities to display pieces from his personal collection was kept in mind.

Communal workstations replace desks for remote workers with laptops

Drop in and Work

With hybrid work schedules becoming more common, desks are swapped for workstations that offer more flexibility. “Every office needs a space for employees to land with their laptops when they do come to work,” O+A explains, “This one is also a gallery for art.”

Modern, minimal, airy conference room with exposed brick, designer lighting, and black oak in an office
  • Custom-built banquettes and paneling conceal power cables and outlets

    Banquettes and paneling thoughtfully conceal power cables and outlets

  • A 70s style bathroom design in a modern office building with bulb lights and oversize vanity mirror

    The bathroom is meant to feel like a powder room

70s Style

The building ARTIS now inhabits was once home to the San Francisco Playboy Club. The office’s bathroom, designed in the style of a powder room, is a nod to that time, with an oversize vanity mirror, bulb lights, and pink basin sink that were popular elements of the era.