Interior Design Magazine
recently featured Jet.com’s new Hoboken headquarters. In a story, “
IA Interior Architects Delivers the Goods for E-commerce Newcomer Jet.com,” writer Jesse Dorris reveals the intention behind this recent FORm_office installation.
It takes superhuman ambition and supersize resources to challenge the likes of Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale Corporation. So why not a superhero-inspired workplace? When Jet.com was still based at an incubator, the e-commerce start-up gave the names of different superheroes to the company’s various teams. “That would be something good to keep,” Interior Architects principal and design director Julio Braga said to himself when conceiving the company’s first real headquarters, in a new building on the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Although the company had outgrown the incubator, IA intermediate designer Brie Samyn notes, “They liked the buzz of everyone being together.” That meant constantly moving through a vibrant environment. Braga and Samyn therefore settled on a largely open plan, with office areas occupying the four corners of the 40,000-square-foot floor plate. Of the 350 employees now, about 200 work in a dedicated team, while the remainder either float among unassigned desks or have no desks at all. “The CEO, the employees—you see everyone,” Braga says. Tucked between these quadrants are shared spaces, from the reception area to a variety of meeting venues.
Then there’s the question of branding. Samyn explains it as “making sure, when you walk in, that the headquarters can’t be mistaken for that of any other company but accomplishing that without a big gesture.” The winking letter J in the purple logo gave her and Braga the idea to develop what they refer to as “Jet wink moments,” subtly clever references.
Completely in the open, among the workstations, painted circles on the concrete floor demarcate break-out areas furnished with tables and ottomans. When the need for quiet or privacy arises, glass-fronted phone rooms are available. They’re nestled next to alcoves containing upholstered banquettes and shell chairs by Charles and Ray Eames.
All that still isn’t sufficient for fast-growing Jet.com. The company has leased the level below, expecting to expand there next year, and IA is once more coming to the rescue on the design front. As a way of thanking the customers behind the success story, the names of the first 25,000 to test the Web site, in beta, are listed on a purple wall as Jet Insiders. From the company’s perspective, they are the true heroes, one and all.
Read more about this project on Interior Design’s website.