Entering from Crosby street through a tangle of hip New Yorkers who frequent the coffee shop on the ground floor, I see clearly that this place is special. Coffee in hand, I elevator up to the 11th floor Automattic office. As I step through the door, the lofty space reveals rare, unobstructed views of lower Manhattan through huge windows on three sides of the office. It’s a place that echoes the energy and inspiration of this famed city of dreams.
Pablo Honey, who led the design efforts, explained, “The Noho Space emerged as an environment to express the permanence of Automattic and our mission, through a design that seems it was always there, and will always be there; to be a practical and elastic canvas for diverse uses; and to reflect the rich aesthetics of our multiple creative tools, and our love for jazz and the creative, relaxed vibe of a jazz club. The timeless Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas (durability, practicality, delight), in Vitruvius terms.”
Collections of mid-century vintage furniture set on beautiful rugs invite gathering. I immediately picture myself lounging and lingering on the Percival Lafer sofa for a break from my screen. Art and design books on every surface offer much to discover and discuss. Noguchi Akari lamps glow warmly. Ambient tunes play a subtle soundscape, and I’m nodding along by the time I’ve chosen a desk to spend my day. Original art pieces adorn every wall, showcasing the work of our creative customers and employees alike. In the events area, the art hangs salon-style, from floor to ceiling, pulsating with color. If ever an office had a vibe, it’s this one.
As Winston Koone, Director of Facilities, shares, “The Noho Space doesn’t feel like an office. It feels so much more like a New York apartment. Yes, we have desks and monitors and conference rooms, but all that is balanced with lounging areas, art from our communities, and a gorgeous, widespread view of Lower Manhattan. It feels most alive when it’s full of Automatticians socializing and connecting. And that is our hope for the location – to provide a place for Automatticians (and others) to make connections.”
Constructed in 1900, this landmarked building retains touches of the past, while serving the present and future. Wood moldings, wood floors, brick, and stone are featured throughout. For Automattic and its employees, it’s a soft landing in the concrete jungle where meetups, coworking, training, client meetings, and events take place. We have an open floor plan, with a mix of private offices and meeting rooms, so I can choose the work environment that best suits my needs. A fully stocked kitchen with coffee, beverages and snacks makes me feel at home. Thoughtful touches like flowers on the cafe tables, Aesop soaps, and Diptyque candles provide a little luxury.
Noguchi lamps and natural light for a perfect glow.
Artwork by Stefania Tejada.
Brand/Creative Designer Tino Barreiro, says, “The Noho Space feels like a home away from home. You’ve never been there, but you feel you belong there. It might not be what you had in mind, but it definitely makes you feel welcomed and loved.”
The speakers start booming sing-along classics from Tina Turner, Celine Dion, and Journey. A message appears: “Opening some orange wine over here!” I do not hesitate. Sipping a happy hour beverage with colleagues, I notice we’re gathered in the kitchen around the island. We’re sharing the ups and downs of the week, and readying a game plan on how to get in for dinner somewhere good without a booking on Friday night. I’m meeting new people, and hearing about what they do and where they’re from. Distributed work makes us at Automattic all the more grateful for these moments together. And getting to have these moments in the glow of golden hour light, in a space so thoughtfully appointed, and so beautifully designed, is magic.
Like what you see? Then maybe you’d love working here. We’re looking for great designers to help us meet bold growth and quality goals. We’re a fully distributed company with a huge footprint, helping people express themselves and earn a living—and our mission is more vital than ever. Join our team of diverse, global perspectives building a better web, and connect your career to the power of Open Source.