eBay Workplace Interior by Valerio Dewalt Train
Valerio Dewalt Train Associates collaborated with eBay’s internal Workplace Resources Team to develop a series of pilot projects intended to establish a new corporate workplace standard. New modular furniture workstations increase flexibility and allow teams to easily reconfigure their spaces using a standard kit of parts. Carefully programmed collaborative venues throughout the space support private and project team work. Hotel stations, team project areas, private rooms, alcove chat areas, and storage solutions were revisited to ensure they comply with the new use of the space.
The result is flexible working environments that enhance communication and collaboration. The design team created a pilot space and developed mock-up rooms with furniture from seven manufacturers to test program concepts. Knoll was selected as furniture manufacture partner, but the spaces rely on furniture from a variety of other manufacturers as well. Space planning sessions with business unit teams further refined programming needs. The workstations are lower in height, improving access to views as well as natural light, which brings down the energy costs of artificial lighting. In addition, the new layout increases density per employee, saving on real estate costs.
Existing workstation seats were all reused, supplemented by new office support elements. Departments engaged in sensitive work, such as human resources, are semi-enclosed and feature a white noise system around the perimeter of workstations to provide acoustic privacy. “Think” rooms support concentrated individual work and private phone conversations. “Project Lounges,” defined by Steelcase’s Post and Beam system and equipped with flexible lounge furniture, are areas that teams can occupy for the duration of a specific project.
“Project Work” areas resemble project lounges but are furnished with mobile tables and chairs for easy reconfiguration. “Huddle” areas consist of Vitra’s Alcove Highback sofas facing each other, facilitating impromptu semi-private conversations. Unlike the existing conference rooms, none of the new meeting venues require reservations. The new workspace has been implemented in eBay’s San Jose and Austin campuses and is currently being rolled out in its workplaces across the United States. The project has resulted in an average 30% increase of workstation density, with an average of one new collaborative venue for every 18 workstations. The workspace also better supports alternative officing strategies.
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