Outdoor space designed for PayPal by M Moser featuring an experiential garden, rest and work environment.

Looking beyond walls to advance the future of the workplace

PayPal Outdoor Spaces, San Jose

The definition of the workplace has changed. Habits have evolved, and doing great work is no longer limited to specific locations or within the bounds of enclosed spaces. To advance the future of its workplace, PayPal approached us to envision, repurpose and design a functionally robust and experiential outdoor space. The result is an environment where employees and guests can be productive, find inspiration and form social bonds.

The design solutions we deployed make the outdoor space an extension of the company’s workplace and a layer of its brand and mission. Our architecture, design and workplace strategy teams focused on PayPal’s commitments to its values of collaboration, innovation, inclusion and wellness. This meant creating unique and formative settings that support workflows, individual behaviours and positive impact on the natural world.

At a glance

  1. A forward-thinking and strategy-based approach to repurpose an existing outdoor space into a high-impact workplace experience.
  2. Design and build an outdoor environment that supports team collaboration, creativity, relaxation, and interpersonal relationships. Varying levels of privacy for individual focus time.
  3. A variety of spaces and settings that acknowledge and are inclusive of unique personal preferences, physical abilities, cognitive diversity and overall physical and mental wellbeing.
  4. Reactivate a unique outdoor setting to attract current and potential talent back to the office.
  5. Provide healthy landscapes in which employees benefit from fresh air, activity, elements of water, sounds of nature and access to natural light year-round.

A holistic perspective of the PayPal campus

The team took a phased approach to reactivate the outdoor campus and integrate it into the fabric of the workplace. They began with high-impact design interventions to immediately influence the employee experience. Responding to the need for more flexible settings, we addressed this at different scales to accommodate adaptive workplace needs and larger events. We analysed PayPal’s pre-existing layout, structures and user journey for repurposing and revitalisation to create a year-round destination.

Layering in company culture and character through a branded journey, the outdoor work campus at PayPal features many work settings and relaxation zones.

We reconfigured a sizeable circular seating feature into a multi-use collaboration and lounge setting. Centrally located, its surrounded by amenities, water features and beautiful garden installations. Our team also added operable windows and folding doors to create an indoor-outdoor experience.

To refresh a series of lawn areas, we introduced multiple freestanding meeting facilities. These are equipped with sun coverage and electrical for a bespoke, inspiring environment unique to each individual and their tasks.

The building façade at PayPal was redesigned to open and close to connect the indoors with the outdoors.
Sun and shade were all taken into account in our outdoor space design for PayPal, such as with beautiful wooden structures to enhance the outdoor work experience.

The new, expansive space balances local culture through materials while creating a unified, human-centric brand experience. We worked alongside a landscape architect to further develop our vision. This included leading studies on sun and shade orientation, user journey, and environmental conservation. The goal was to address function, aesthetics and comfort through elegant solutions.

Outdoor space where work, wellness and nature connect

To develop unique destinations and a holistic, engaging journey, the workplace experience now extends to the perimeter of the campus. It incorporates more profound concepts of wellness, sustainability and pre-existing natural elements. Additionally, our teams used local, recycled, and other eco-friendly materials, such as Alaska Yellow Cedar, to prioritise sustainability.

Alternative work areas outside by water features at PayPal’s outdoor campus.
Outdoor office campus design featuring multiple seating areas, shaded workspaces and water features.
Private or collaborative work points in the garden at PayPal’s outdoor office campus.

The overarching design connects the forms of nearby coastal wetlands. This provides consistent language, tying the series of outdoor spaces together. We established a natural hierarchy of areas that would remain untouched to support the health of trees, plants and flowers.

A repurposed outdoor space designed to connect employees to the outdoors throughout their workday.

From customised multi-function workspaces to entertainment lounges, pre-function break-out areas, and an outdoor café seating area. Each “high impact intervention” area is designed to support individual and group work in an outdoor environment, as well as entertaining and socialising.

The unique settings reframe the outdoor campus as a destination – rather than simply part of a linear journey to the desk indoors. They encourage people to reconnect with the natural world.

Customised outdoor workspaces design by M Moser.

Reshaping outdoor green space to energise employees

Outdoor spaces are more valuable than ever. As employees return to the office, there is a unique opportunity not only to create environments where employees feel safe to come together again. It’s time to embrace new workspace options that align with core company values and progress the definition of an office experience.

Our outdoor transformation for PayPal has redefined a healthy, adaptable workplace. Once an untapped source of productivity-enhancing, morale-boosting real estate. We converted this outdoor campus into a placemaking environment that celebrates talent, connects individuals with the outdoors and motivates a return to the office.

Status

Completed

Completion date

2021

Location

San Jose

Area

33,937 sq ft

Photographer

Emily Hagopian