Actelion Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company based in Switzerland saw the opportunities in locating their US headquarters in South San Francisco, the hub of California’s pharmaceutical and biotech development region. The design of the facility needed to reinforce the global branding of Actelion’s parent company, while expressing the regional identity of the Bay Area lifestyle and the biotech industry culture in California. And, while synergies with the biotech hub were attractive to the company, it also necessitated real concern for issues of employee recruiting and retention since options for employment were plentiful. Rapt Studio worked with Actelion’s US leadership to identify and define these key business drivers and focused the design solutions specifically on each, while keeping a eye toward the development of a unique cultural expression.
The design solution responded to three main drivers – (1) The need for a space that fostered collaboration, while protecting privacy for groups requiring patient confidentiality; (2) The need for the space to establish connections between various groups spread out over multiple floors, and to realign groups that had become disjointed from recent explosive growth and; (3) The desire for the space to “give back” to the staff by offering in-house amenities such as a fitness center and a full-service café. The end result is a space that is both innovative and comfortable, offering a mix of finely tuned individual work spaces, collaboration zones and a series of large gathering and amenity spaces all offering magnificent views of the San Francisco Bay and adjacent trails.
The project is currently tracking for LEED Silver certification.