HGA Architects and Engineers Complete Office Interior Design for Growing Bay Area Tech Company Ooyala


HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, recently completed the office interior design for Ooyala, a leading innovator in premium video publishing, analytics and monetization in Santa Clara, California, that accommodates 200 additional employees for the tech company's future expansion plans. Included in the space are two open office areas, two circular innovation rooms, more than 50 conference rooms and an all-hands area equipped with a kitchen, espresso cafe, library and employee gym.

HGA transformed the 65,000-square-foot space by challenging the typical design aesthetics found in many of the area's tech start-ups by using subtle interior design elements. As Ooyala means 'cradle' in Telugu Indian, cradle concepts were incorporated through architectural circles and soft curves, ranging from the lobby's lighting fixtures to the shape of the collaborative innovation rooms. HGA also integrated minor pops of the company's signature colors balanced by various shades of gray.

"Our office had to be comfortable for each of our burgeoning departments, as each has its own unique personality - and we wanted to achieve that without overloading our employees with logos and branding everywhere," said Sally Buchanan, vice president of people at Ooyala. "Our new space accurately reflects who we are and the end result was exactly what we needed as a company."

To accommodate additional occupants, HGA also had to comply with occupant load city codes to make sure every person had, at minimum, fifteen square feet of space. After planning with the City of Santa Clara for several months, HGA identified multi-purpose rooms with open office spaces at the perimeters of the space as a solution. This included collaboration rooms with moveable panels in the engineering and marketing departments to allow employees to reconfigure the space as needed. Private, circular rooms were added in the center for more privacy.

"Imagine you have a room full of people that will need to hold two times that, but you can't increase the room's square footage and each individual person must have a certain amount of personal space around them - this was the biggest challenge with Ooyala and many of our tech clients because they are growing so rapidly," said Lisa Macaluso, IIDA, LEED AP, HGA principal and lead project manager. "We gave employees the option for both private and open work environments."

After multiple visionary sessions, the HGA team compiled feedback from all employees to discover a third challenge: design a space that connects all employees from engineering to the marketing and administrative departments with amenities for a "work-play" atmosphere. The result was a 25-foot collaboration tunnel inspired by a camera's zoom lens to serve as the cornerstone of the design that connects the entire office. Also included was a large, all-hands area for employees to break for lunch, as well as an espresso café and a library - all easily accessible via a scooter or skateboard along stretches of concrete hallways.

Skyline Construction served as the general contractor for the Ooyala project. HGA and Ooyala were awarded the 2015 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northern California Honor Award achievement in the category of medium-sized corporate space.