We recently moved into our new office after a decade in downtown San Jose. And. It. Rocks. Literally.
First off, we landed on the 1500 block of The Alameda, in Shasta-Hanchett Park, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods for commercial real estate in San Jose.
It’s an easy walk to SAP Center, where we watch the San Jose Sharks play, and to Diridon Station, which will someday be the busiest transit hub on the West Coast. The amount of private investment in the area seems primed to explode, bringing with it a host of new, exciting urban goodies like great restaurants, shops, and bars, complementing those that are already there.
But some of that’s a few years off. Of more immediate importance to WebEnertia is the fantastic office space itself. At over 6,000 square feet, this office is twice the size of the old one at Third and St. John streets, two miles east. The move allowed us to build creative and collaborative spaces aligned to the processes we undertake to do our projects. Now we can bring clients in and work with them side by side, or facilitate workshops, and in the digital agency business, a creative and thoughtful space is invaluable.
San Jose in our DNA
Not that it was easy to find the right space in notoriously pricey San Jose. Our Co-founder Steve Ohanians and Creative Director Danny Halvorson visited dozens of locations before they found the perfect space.
“We’re big San Jose supporters,” Steve says. “It’s always been part of our DNA. So we knew we wanted to stay in San Jose. The problem with San Jose is you don’t easily find those brick, loft-y buildings like they have in San Francisco, or old firehouses and banks, where their transformation into an agency space inherently breathes creativity.” So they had to get creative with the interior space design.
Agency space design
“Danny and myself, we’re not interior designers, we’re not architects,” Steve says, “but we thought of it as another design project where you’re solving design issues, specifically a space that’s an extension of our brand, mission, and our core values.” They designed it to recapture and update the same spirit they’d infused into the old office — but with Design Thinking.
Entering the office for the first time, one is struck with one unmistakable impression right off the bat: This is a digital agency. There’s the eye-popping color scheme, creative use of lighting, wall art and typography, abundant natural light, and tons of clear floor-to-ceiling glass walls. It feels airy and open. Perfect for collaboration and creativity.
Did we mention that the place rocks? On one main wall, the WebEnertia designers sketched hard-rock themed icons such as a guitar pick and an amplifier, each one incorporating our company values: Be Inspired, Stay Accountable, Embrace Family, Exceed Expectations and Always Collaborate, under the headline: Together, We Rock!
Similar words of inspiration are painted on other walls in our signature typefaces.
There’s even a space dedicated to our office dogs — yeah, we have lots of dogs around — that has a rock and roll slogan on it: Bad to the Bone.
Oh, and most of the non-glass walls are painted with whiteboard paint so the team can jot down ideas and make sketches anywhere.
Bonding over food
Lunch is a big deal at WebEnertia. We’ve always brought it in for all of us to share, and we’re encouraged to get off our desks and get to know each other outside of a strict work project. But in the old place, there just wasn’t much space for it. Here, Steve and Danny designed a big, open kitchen area with bars, tables, and lots of room for that interaction.
Finally, we even have a killer sound system on which we can share our musical interests as well as our food.
We’ll be honest. A lot of us loved the old office in the heart of downtown, and we were afraid we’d miss both the urban buzz outside and the homey feel inside when we left it behind. Designer Daniel Millan is one guy who was concerned about moving out of downtown, but only because he couldn’t really see how another office would be cooler.
“There are so many things to do downtown, so I thought I would miss it,” he says. “But I like this office and the new neighborhood a lot more. We usually go on walks around lunchtime, and it’s a charming part of town.”
We look forward to collaborating with our clients in our new space!