Creative spaces: a look inside the offices of 10 startup heavyweights

Startups are hives of creativity. In their early days, the creativity of their founders and new hires mainly permeate the innovative products or services that are to disrupt industries. Those that succeed in uprooting their markets however, follow a trajectory which puts them in a position to further manifest their creativity. With a wad of cash and an expanding workforce, a new work environment is often both a necessity and a compelling blank canvas for its creatively-driven founders.

It’s interesting to watch how the most successful startups often end up in the most creative spaces. Whether that’s by means of its founders’ vision, or by having the means to hire award-winning interior designers, we’ve found common design threads that are likely not just design-muscle at full flex, but actual conduits of creativity.

They include birds-eye views, open collaborative spaces, quirky spins on everyday elements, off-beat building materials, odd colours and interesting shapes. Walls tend to be multifunctional. You won’t find them serving simply as a structural elements. Instead, they inspire creativity by doing double duty as chalk and pin boards.

Company employees often end up spending their working hours inside spaces that personify the very design elements and messages they put into their products. Some companies build spaces hat inspire lifestyles — some are installing bike racks inside the building to inspire cycling to work, for example.

We picked some of our favourite startups and did some digging to see what they look like inside. From the beautiful, to the unabashedly silly, it’s easy to imagine coming up with an idea for the next big thing in these creative spaces.

Creative spaces of top startups
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Evernote's Redwood City California office is home to this creative lounge area. Ventureburn's Michelle Atagana was at the note taking juggernaut's HQ earlier this year and spoke to Evernote CEO Phil Libin.

Image source: Yusuke Kawasaki


Twitter's office interiors have always been exceptional, but we think it's safe to say that this roof terrace view from its Market Street, San Francisco building trumps all of that. What a view.

Image source: JS Chauma


Pictured here is Spotify's colourful lounge area inside its Stockholm office. The streaming music pioneer also has offices in Brussels, London, Stockholm, Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki, East Melbourne, Berlin, and Copenhagen.

Image source: Jay Richman


This is the breathtaking view from Vimeo's New York HQ. The video hosting service occupies a floor inside the beautiful IAC building. A view like that is bound to inspire deep thought. Or vertigo.

Image source: Ian Broyles


Music hosting service, SoundCloud lures its Berlin-based employees out into the daylight with this roof lounge.

Image source: Flo Meissner


Like most startups, Pinterest, originally based in Palo Alto, had humble beginnings. Today the virtual pinboard is worth US$2.5 billion and operates out of this beautiful new building in San Francisco.

Image source: GigaOm


Yelp moved into a new building in downtown San Francisco in 2010. The space was completely redesigned and features a bike storage area -- many of its employees cycle into work.

Image source: Office Snapshots


Mobile payments phenomenon, Square, seems to inhabit a space worthy of its US$3.25 billion valuation (September 2012). Studio 0+a, the company that designed the interior, also designed Yelp's new offices.

Image source: Office Snapshots


With its growing staff numbers, New York-based Foursquare moved into a new 28,000 sqft office space in January last year. It features open collaboration spaces and as with the new Yelp building, bike racks for its cycling workforce.

Image source: Office Snapshots


Tumblr's original home is the 10th floor of a building in New York office, but its second office in Richmond Virginia, boasts these interesting corrugated design elements.

Image source: Office Snapshots



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