Berkeley Research Group (BRG)
Founded in 2010, Berkeley Research Group (BRG) is a global consulting firm whose multi-disciplinary specialists partner with leading organizations to resolve disputes, improve corporate performance, and help meet critical financial objectives. Faced with the unprecedented challenges of a post-pandemic work landscape, BRG engaged OTJ Architects to lead the strategic renovation of their Emeryville, CA, headquarters with a mandate to increase cross-departmental collaboration in an age when remote work modalities often leave team members feeling disconnected from colleagues and company culture.
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Like BRG, OTJ is committed to working without physical or digital borders and embraces the value of a collective mindset. Our design team seized on this unique alignment of values to lead a collaborative dialogue rooted in a series of virtual visioning sessions conducted amongst key stakeholders and facilitated by cutting edge project management software. The findings of this early investigative process revealed the need for an informal workplace that would nurture BRG’s commitment to non-hierarchical interaction and joint problem solving.
The resulting design is rich in opportunities for the casual exchange of ideas with space types ranging from a multipurpose lounge complete with upholstered booth, an open kitchen area, paneled in cerused oak and anchored by a custom marble counter, to glasswalled conference rooms that balance the organization’s spirit of transparency against visual and acoustic privacy requirements. Additionally, the layout of the headquarters is articulated to maximize both panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay as well as daylight penetration deep into a floorplan comprised primarily of open workstations.
Inspired by the narrow peninsula on which the headquarters is located, BRG’s palette interprets nautical influences through the lens of contemporary design. Subdued shades of blue accented by crisp white architectural gestures and a gleaming cloud mosaic bring to mind the surrounding bay waters and skies. Lastly, a bold reception desk echoes the prow of a ship and activates a once sterile area by inviting conversation amongst guests and visitors alike. The resulting environment promises to advance both employee satisfaction and productivity while propelling business operations forward for years to come.
The strategic renovation of BRG’s Bay Area headquarters increases cross-departmental collaboration in a post-pandemic age of remote work modalities.