Atlassian Austin – 16th and 17th Floor
‘G’day y’all!’ says the concierge at Atlassian’s office in Austin – an improbable transatlantic fusion of Australian lingo and Southern slang. It befits the office perfectly.
Atlassian – Australia’s biggest tech success story having launched in Sydney in 2002 – opened its second-largest U.S. office in Austin in 2014. Initially, Atlassian had planned to lease around 7,000 sq ft of office space. But as its headcount aggressively increased from zero to 150, the company increased its lease requirements to 48,000 sq ft. And therein lay the biggest challenges for our design team: How can we help fortify a great office culture for a business going through such rapid change? How can we fuse Atlassian’s laid-back Australian style with the charm of its new Southern host city?
The keys to the office are flexibility and collaboration. Employees actively change their workstations to suit their individual preferences, and teams reconfigure their space layouts to suit their collective needs. Other collaborative spaces activate the workplace across each workday – they visit the game room when they need a moment for mental respite, they meet informally in open lounge areas, and they gather on sunny Austin afternoons on the two outdoor terraces.
Has it worked? Well, employees now proudly wear t-shirts emblazoned with ‘G’day y’all’ as they gather for ‘Austin Family Friday Breakfasts’ – mornings when the entire office gathers for a ‘family’ meal.
Flexibility and choice defines this mobile, active office. The furniture team worked closely with the design team to ensure each piece of furniture in the space was light-weight and easy to rearrange.
At its heart, an over-sized monumental stair connects the two floors and serves as the hub of energy for the office and reinforces the company’s value of transparency. In addition to a sculptural focal point, the stair platform is used for musical performances, a presentation stage, informal work-settings, and as a gathering spot that encourages socialization and collaboration.