A renovated train yard in Paris, Station F is now the largest startup campus in the world. Over 1,000 startups as well as the European hubs for Facebook, Microsoft, and Ubisoft call it home. Brice Bourgeois, Station F’s Director of Design, called on our expertise to help resolve two critical design problems he faced preparing the space.
Location: Paris, FR
Size: 30,000 m2
Station F asked us to design flexible interior spaces that would maximize usability and help foster the campus community.
Station F asked us to design special furniture with functionality and specifications that they could not find anywhere on the market.
Station F had two types of spaces they asked us to design: 1) the iconic meeting boxes, which offer seclusion throughout the campus, and 2) open “pop-up” spaces amidst the bustle of the campus. Anyone in Station F would be able to use these spaces, so the goal was to maximize that potential use and to help foster Station F’s community within these environments.
Here’s how we broke the problem down: knowing individuals will naturally adapt to use any space more flexibly than a group, we turned our focus to how these spaces could best support groups. We investigated all forms of gatherings we could imagine, and a clear spectrum emerged – formal vs informal.
To maximize the use of space, the idea was simple: with two different types of space (boxed or open) and two different types of meetings (formal or informal), we’d develop a combination of each, making four distinct concepts. Together, these spaces would provide the most flexible options between groups or individuals and focused versus collaborative work sessions.
Lining the full length of the campus, these iconic boxes make for quiet and secluded places to focus.
In the immense open air of the campus, these work areas provide a casual place for anyone to come and work.
Formal spaces incorporate a classic selection of furniture: long tables, custom whiteboards, chairs, stools, benches, and presentation monitors – all the essentials for productive meetings, flexible collaborations, and deep focus work.
Informal spaces are outfitted with items that can be rearranged easily: bean bags, cube side tables, and whiteboards. The spaces are ideal for group huddles, team hang-outs, solo work on laptops, and sitting back with a good read.