Bandai Namco Entertainment America is a video game publisher for consoles, mobile devices, and computers. The company publishes some of the most beloved video games of our time including Pac-Man, Dragon Ball, Tekken, Digimon and Dark Souls to name a few.
The company hired Blitz to design their 41,475 SF office space in Santa Clara, California. The goal: to reflect the energetic and playful nature of their company while creating dynamic meeting spaces that would accommodate their various creative teams. A key project challenge was accommodating a large number of conference rooms and other programmatic requirements into the floor plate without feeling overcrowded or disconnected.
Taking inspiration from Bandai’s roots, the conceptual framework and programmatic layout for the space plan borrows largely from Pac-Man game design with multiple pathways through, and around the space, creating intersections and collision points where people can meet. The collision points are concentrated in the center of the plan as a series of meeting pavilions inspired by contemporary Japanese residential design. The three pavilions are the anchor for the space and provide an organizational element to the overall project.
The pavilions also house the building mechanical systems and create an acoustical separation from the large noise making equipment. Playfully over-scaled and hyper-saturated, the pavilions emphasize a heightened otherworldly-ness evocative of a video game universe.
The conference room pavilions encourage staff to “meet in the middle” and reinforce the social nature of the office. Pixelation is a another theme in the project and this is revealed through various finishes in the project. The outsides of the pavilions tend to be fairly serious and are represented in neutral colors of white, light grey, and charcoal. In contrast, the interiors of the same rooms burst with multi-colored pixels to provide an element of whimsy and surprise. In an effort to provide amenity space to each employee, the workstations are located at the perimeter of the office and provide each user with access to daylight and views. The workstation spaces are divided up by teams that each require specialized spaces to fit their needs. It was important that the teams have a defined area of work without feeling siloed.
Small booths and informal work areas designed to blur the distinction between team areas encourage staff to work anywhere. “We presented Blitz with a challenging program and complex list of design requirements. The Blitz team looked for interesting ways to solve those challenges. The pavilions in particular provided fun and dynamic central meeting spaces that not only work well but look awesome. ” - Hans Lui, Director, Operations & Applications, Bandai Namco