Startup Bootcamp is an accelerator programme for internet start-up companies from all over the world. They approached us to design their Dublin Headquarters. They asked for something that would create a different atmosphere to most internet company office spaces, something that would encourage their teams to be more creative. Our canvas was an empty warehouse on Barrow Street, an area thriving with internet activity.
The initial brief was to design desks and other furniture to be used by the individual start-ups. This swiftly changed as we discovered the potential and limitations of the space. The vastness of the space meant that we had to build an enclosed structure within the warehouse that would offer a warm, secure and flexible working environment. We were also asked to create a series of recreational spaces including a stage, communal seating area and a think-tank for private meetings. With this revised brief, we chose to use OSB as our main construction material. It is relatively cheap, easy to finish and requires minimal maintenance.
We started by constructing a raised office to comfortably seat 16 people at desks. The structure is simple but we added detailing in terms of a geometric window pattern and a complex roof structure that allows for air circulation. The roof also creates a striking visual effect when seen from above. Each desk for the space is made from a collapsible OSB leg structure with a fire door top. Tiered seating was created outside the office using salvaged palettes and OSB, making good use of the openness of the warehouse. A stage, exhibition space, large projection screen and moveable bar make the warehouse a flexible space for hosting gigs, exhibitions and talks.
As the building itself has a lot of character, we didn't want to do anything too overpowering. We used lighting not only to flood the room but also to show off the existing ceiling structure. We stuck to 2 base colours, white and green, using varying shades of each to create depth and variation within the space. Illustrations for the space were created during the build by some of our favourite Dublin designers, Mick Minogue, Peter O'Gara, James Kirwan, Shane Kenna and Kathi Burke. The day was brilliantly documented by Mark Keogh.