Cynthia Gage, Director, Marketing | BCCI Construction
As part of an ongoing effort to evolve Adobe‘s workplace into a more open and collaborative work environment, BCCI Construction was hired during preconstruction for the 40,000 square foot re-design comprising the top two floors of the East Tower at Adobe’s corporate headquarters in San Jose.
Supporting a cultural shift in the organization – a move away from closed private offices to an open floor plan configuration – the newly renovated floors were designed by architecture firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates to house the company’s executive team.
“We wanted it to reflect the creative, sophisticated design that the company represents to the world. And of course, we wanted to enable our employees to be more productive, have more fun, and be inspired.”Eric Kline, Global Workplace Strategy Manager, Adobe Systems
A design-build project delivery method was utilized for upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinklers systems to support the new space plan. A custom staircase with glass risers and wood treads which leads to the executive briefing center and lounge was craned into the building from 16 stories below. The architectural staircase is cantilevered off supports hidden within an intricate two-story modularArts panel wall.
One of the major aspects of the improvements entailed the installation of complex audiovisual systems including a high tech boardroom with four tracking video cameras, a 103” plasma display, and 11 touch screen displays that retract into the boardroom table. Additionally the new build-out comprised private video phone rooms, small video meeting rooms, and large video conferencing rooms furnished for a wide range of audiovisual needs.
The project, which was built to LEED Gold equivalency, incorporated the use of sustainable materials and Smartfloor technology to control lighting and power usage through a WattStopper system. Adobe, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and Sustainable Silicon Valley, has long been a proponent of green building design and construction principles at its worldwide offices.
Learn more about the Adobe office renovation featured in Contract Magazine.
Explore our portfolio of sustainable construction projects.
Founded in 1982 in the technology hub of Silicon Valley, Adobe is one of the founding fathers of today’s thriving tech industry. Since those early days, the tech industry has revolutionized the way we work, particularly when it comes to the workplace itself.
In the early 2010s, companies like Adobe— who were still operating out of traditional, segmented offices—realized they needed to modernize their San Jose headquarters, not only to attract top talent in an increasingly competitive market but also to take advantage of the efficiencies and collaboration a more open floor plan had to offer.
Starting at the Top
Knowing the transition from private offices to a more open plan could be a difficult one for some employees, Adobe opted to begin with transforming the executive floors. They enlisted the help of Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (VDTA) and BCCI Construction for the design and build-out.
BCCI fully gutted the 40,000 sf over two floors, reconstructing the space with an open floor plan, a new feature staircase, an executive briefing center, upgraded MEP systems, and a complex AV package. To balance the need for quiet, private space within the open work areas, the design incorporated private phone rooms, small video meeting rooms, and large video conferencing rooms, among other collaboration areas.
They modeled what they were looking to roll out companywide with the reconfiguration of the executive floors,” says Wendy Peterson, BCCI account executive. “Eliminating private offices definitely set the example and eased the transition moving forward.”
“They modeled what they were looking to roll out companywide with the reconfiguration of the executive floors. Eliminating private offices definitely set the example and eased the transition moving forward.”Wendy Peterson, Account Executive, BCCI Construction
With those first floors successfully under their belts, Adobe continued with BCCI on the transformation, moving from floor to floor across their San Jose office towers. Over the last seven years, BCCI’s team has renovated over 465,000 sf of workspace at Adobe’s headquarters, comprising open office space, large and small meeting areas, and a 20,900 sf wellness center.
In 2015, the team partnered with BCCI on the rehab and fit-out of Adobe’s San Francisco offices as well, which included major building upgrades for a new café and fitness center in a 100-year old historic building, and again in 2017, on over 250,000 sf of lobbies, collaborative workspaces, a kitchen and dining area, a roof deck, and a state-of-the-art fitness center in a new ground-up building.
BCCI also has a master construction services agreement with Adobe to help tackle small projects in both San Francisco and San Jose, from carpet and paint updates to reconfiguring a conference room to create smaller meeting rooms.
That focus on collaboration across all types of projects has been a key factor to the relationship’s success, says Peterson.
“They are very team-oriented at Adobe. We have always worked with them and our design partners from the very beginning to establish a plan that fits their budget and goals to create the most functional workplace.”Wendy Peterson, Account Executive, BCCI Construction
Some other secrets to relationship success that Peterson says have underscored BCCI’s work with Adobe include:
Establishing expectations. There is a learning curve when you are working with new people. Once the team is past that, everyone works together more collaboratively. “There’s huge value to the client in that, and it makes the building experience more enjoyable and rewarding,” says Peterson.
Making quick decisions. “Adobe’s team is very good about making prompt decisions to avoid delays,” she says. When clients have clear and accurate information to make decisions, projects flow more smoothly.
Remaining flexible. “When we come across a challenge, we always present solutions and recommendations, and the Adobe team loves that,” says Peterson. “They are open to and appreciate new ideas that keep the project moving forward.”
Valuing the partnership. Good relationships really come down to good people, says Peterson. “Adobe has a fantastic team culture, and it makes our team want to go above and beyond for them, including our subcontractors. That goes a long way towards achieving success.”
San Jose Project Highlights
- 110 (including 21 corporate interiors projects, 89 service projects)
- Total size: 465,160 sf
- Special features: Executive briefing center, interconnecting stair, wellness center, complex AV systems
San Francisco Project Highlights
- 20 (including 7 corporate interiors projects, 13 service projects)
- Total size: 312,500 sf
- Special features: 2 commercial kitchens, 2 fitness centers, media rooms, games, virtual reality modules, roof deck