Making headlines last week with positive fourth-quarter results and skyrocketing stock in spite of the COVID-19 crisis, San Francisco-based SaaS company LiveRamp provides data connectivity platforms for businesses. Its headquarters – in the California city’s central 1922 Standard Oil Building – have been revamped by local practice Studio O+A. Previously responsible for designing two floors at LiveRamp, the architects and designers were asked to tackle a third for the growing company.

Tech behemoths in the neighbourhood – Facebook, Twitter and Google to name a few – are giving their employees the option to continue working remotely even as pandemic restrictions loosen. Office design will have to change dramatically to safeguard the health of workers (a survey conducted by Eden with 1,000 Bay Area office managers revealed that over 70 per cent are planning a return to some form of physical workplace by July). Even still, projects completed pre-pandemic – like LiveRamp’s headquarters – are valuable reference points for designers currently rethinking communal and individual workspaces.

What did Studio O+A take away from its second project for the company? ‘When you design for a client’s growth over a series of floors and a period of years, what you learn about the design aligns with what the client learns about its business,’ explains a spokesperson. The existing build ‘embraced the raw energy of the company’s beginnings’, hosting variety of utilities and functions to manifest LiveRamp’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’ workplace philosophy. For their most recent work, the designers needed to focus on integrating the environments – all with the aim to usher in a new era for LiveRamp.

To do so, they made improvements in circulation and space alignment, and introduced a more versatile range of work set-ups. Colour is used as a wayfinding solution in the U-shaped space – a result of LiveRamp’s request for spirited interiors. ‘We don’t usually have clients tell us, “I don’t want it to be boring”,’ explains Joseph Rodriguez, design director at O+A. A lively palette and bold graphics, thus, are integral to the headquarters’ look and feel. These elements come together with eclectic furniture and fixture selection which serve to further communicate the company’s playful identity.

It’s not unbelievable, in any case, that design-forward spaces such as the LiveRamp headquarters may be what keep employees desirous for central, shared workspaces in a post-pandemic world.

Interested in reading more about the future of work post-COVID-19? Read our dedicated series here.