In the busy world of beta testing and bug reports, a little analog charm can go a long way. Such is the case with the cafeteria and coffee bar at Dropbox in San Francisco. Without being kitschy, their decor is a world apart from the rest of the headquarters by , which brought in to design them. “The spaces are intended for all-day use. When someone is tired of their desk, they can come here,” AvroKO principal Greg Bradshaw says.
For the 20,000-square-foot cafeteria, aka Tuck Shop, Bradshaw’s concept blends food hall and marketplace, a hybrid the firm is known for. Beyond the main entry—dominated by a chandelier with adjustable arms inspired by the workings of cable-car tracks—the plan opens up to accommodate five seating areas loosely corresponding, aesthetically, to the five themed food stations. Gio Ponti’s influence peppers the Mediterranean area, while references to tile and lighting at Yoshiro Taniguchi’s original Hotel Okura in Tokyo lend flavor to the area near the sushi-noodle station. The dividers delineating the zones are transparent, so as not to block views, since the cafeteria hosts all-hands meetings for Dropbox.
Down at Coffee Shop, a 5,000-square-foot space that caters to individuals as well as groups, the vibe skews positively homey. “Dropbox was interested in vintage-esque furniture groupings to play off the raw concrete envelope, so we created living-room vignettes,” Bradshaw continues. That explains the streamlined black sofa custom-designed to recall a 1950’s piece and the hefty orange tufted ottoman, found at a flea market.