Project Unity brings five groups from different locations into a single campus and celebrates the regional climate, biodiversity and startup mentality of California’s Silicon Valley. Based on Roche standards, a design concept emerged focused on five key themes: 1) fostering collaboration 2) the pioneer’s spirit 3) a hacienda experience 4) indirect highlight and 5) showcasing innovation. Together these concepts create a unified design language that carries across the five-building campus.

One of the design priorities was to connect people with nature at every given moment. Laboratories were strategically designed to offer researchers clean fresh spaces with access to great natural light. Windows into labs were planned at every opportunity to promote visual connections; to science, to nature and to other people. Collaboration spaces inside labs make for quick efficient informal collaboration. 

In the workplace, the design purposely positions taller furniture and built rooms to create indirect highlights and break down the large expanse of open work area into a series of human-scale neighborhoods. Employees can choose their workstations from a mix of sit-stand desks or bespoke designed library tables crafted of plywood. A huge variation of different types of work areas offer a variety of different comfort factors and promote user choice and mobility. Polished concrete floors, open ceilings (revealing the building structure and services) create elevated ceiling heights that reinforce the startup garage ethos and the pioneer spirit of Silicon Valley.

On each floor there is a centralized convivial space to encourage social interaction across teams while preserving other areas for quiet, heads-down work. Lush indoor plantings of native flora improve acoustics, air quality and reiterate the hacienda experience that capitalizes on the California climate by melding the interior with the exterior.

A grand café with outdoor dining space serves as the heart of the campus, drawing employees together for dining and barista made coffee moments throughout the day.

Architect: HOK San Francisco. 2020