You’re never far from a photo opp at Instagram’s Frank Gehry-designed offices in Manhattan.
The social media app recently unveiled its new space above parent company Facebook at 440 Broadway, the former Wanamaker's department store. The design is meant to generate creativity, collaboration and, of course, selfies.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom recalled at a press opening in June how they’ve grown from a “tiny little office” with a staff of three people to now a second headquarters in New York with almost 300 employees. The founders joked that the company, which launched in 2010, is growing at such a clip, it might not be long before it’s time for a new office or expansion.
"As we grew we started to realize that craft was a big part of what we did, not only building out product, but building our space and building our team," Systrom said.
The office is designed around a central axis, with public space in the middle and open-plan desk areas on each side. Gehry Partners laid out the structure of the space while an in-house design team dreamed up the installations.
A wall of screens displaying rotating Instagram feeds and Stories welcomes visitors; The "Crazy Rich Asians" cast were greeted recently with (and photographed in front of) their personal pages. Curated photos exhibitions line the halls, and, as the new norm in millennial companies, snacks are never too far out of reach.
A café with shelves of free snacks and drinks tempts you from just beyond on the entrance, and an in-house gelato bar with a 1930s Cuban-Miami aesthetic, The Frozen Palm, serves made-to-order smoothies, juices and gelato named after Instagram Filters. For harder stuff, employees can hit the fully stocked bar, the Thirsty Flamingo.
Guests noshed on acai bowls and lined up at the press opening in June to pose in the mini conference room, which was outfitted in Versace prints at the time. Other photo installations and backdrops include a two-story living plant wall and a geodesic dome made of dichroic glass, which gives off a rainbow of colors and comes equipped with user-controlled selfie lighting. The dome makes you appear to be sitting in the inside of a jewel instead of a corporate office in Manhattan.
Workers looking for a quieter nook can find reprieve in a library outfitted with mid-century furniture looking out onto the skyline or book one of the conference rooms named after popular Instagram accounts and hashtags, including Rich Dogs of Instagram and #KindComments. The headquarters is also equipped with a soundproof media studio for recording audio and filming interviews.
Photograph by Jonathan Pilkington