Sao Paulo is an emerging market for us, so we were incredibly excited to be able to give the team there a mature, robust, and beautiful office that would support the work they’re doing. They had been working from smaller start-up spaces that they had outgrown, so we were tasked with helping them take the next step into a new space. A modern building in one of the most up and coming neighborhoods in Sao Paulo, the new Sao Paulo office is a reflection of both the culture of the office and the country it is in.
We partnered with Sao Paulo based design firm MM18, who have a strong knowledge of Brazilian culture and design. We wanted the office to truly belong to the culture of its country, so they brought in local fabricators, furniture designers, textile makers, and industrial designers to bring this to life. Located in the Villa Madelena neighborhood, known for its community of makers, the office is incredibly involved in in this group.
In addition to working with local makers, we also wanted to weave the rich design history of Brazil into the overall office. All around the kitchen is The Perimeter, bench and terrace seating inspired by the work of Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect. This was an homage to his work, while also being a functional space for the team, allowing room for large gatherings such as presentations or all hands meetings.
The Sao Paulo team is a close knit group, placing a lot of importance on certain team oriented routines. For example, they consistently eat breakfast together, and break for coffee in the afternoons. An important challenge in the new space was to ensure these rituals did not get lost, that they were able to maintain what was important to them. In order to address this, we designed the office around a shared kitchen. Designed as an open place to gather, both during meals and other times throughout the day, it became a central point of the office as it was central to the team.
A constant thread through all our offices, the conference rooms here reference actual listings on the site. These allow us to celebrate the global reach of Airbnb, while also acting as inspiration to employees, who can have meetings in homes from Mar Azul, Montreal, and Rio de Janeiro.
Design: MM18, Airbnb Environments Team
MM18 team: Mila Strauss, Marcos Paulo Caldeira, Fabiane Sakai, Larissa Burke
Airbnb Team: Aaron Taylor Harvey, Rachael Harvey
Photography: Fran Parente