A RIOS Santa Monica headquarters supports hybridized work routines

“Like all of our work, [the approach] was borrowed from urban planning, ”explains Lantz. He imagined the involvement in the work area as “more like a city” than a static environment in which schedules and patterns are fixed. Like an intersection, the lobby leads into a spacious, naturally lit atrium that fills visitors with a feeling of happiness and discovery. Lantz uses terms such as “Main Street” and “Central Park” to describe the various sections of the project.

Given that employees “juggle a work-from-home-and-office model, I think they want to be more social,” notes Lantz, encouraging organic interaction among employees. The cafe features bespoke Klein Agency tables and seating, plus tall skylights, lush houseplants, and tiered risers. The sourcing and supply chain challenges during the pandemic have become a silver lining; 97.8 percent of the furnishings were manufactured within 30 miles of the site.

“The perception of a pharmaceutical company is very sterile,” says Andrew Barrett-Weiss, Director of Workplace Experience at GoodRx. Co-CEOs Doug Hirsch and Trevor Bezdek wanted it to be about “creating an environment that feels human”. Since working from home has shown how stuck employees can feel when they are in one place all day, the team realizes the need to encourage new habits. With flexible desks, 80 percent of the seats are unassigned, so employees can reserve a seat before going to the office.

Upon entering, employees and guests are greeted by a large central atrium called “Central Park”. 25 percent of all interiors are dependent on natural light that comes in from skylights, which also support the lush vegetation. Outside, an edible garden allows employees to harvest fruit for the juice bar in the office. Courtesy of JASPER SANIDAD

The café area known as “Central Park” transitions into the quasi-auditorium “all hands”, which has a stage-like platform, a digital wall and a path to further meeting and work rooms. The RIOS team designed a corridor with benches padded with cord and closed meeting rooms with cork acoustic panels and a selection of fabrics that are reminiscent of the American fiber wall art of the 1960s and 70s. “We were really obsessed with cord,” notes Lantz. “We like to be very tactile.”

From an architectural and technical point of view, the greenhouse-like library is essentially a building-within-a-building. Sofas by LA designer Stephen Kenn and Eero Saarinen executive leather armchairs provide comfortable lounging, and a backdrop of 50 square meters of shelves filled with books, accessories, and vintage games adds to what Lantz calls a “high-low” sensibility.

In a structure of this size, orientation is key. Below, a black band dyed into the concrete floor serves as a visual marker for a traffic loop. ”On the upper floor, a series of raised walkways connects the offices and suites. As GoodRx’s app-based technology brings consumers together with pharmaceuticals at competitive prices, the board offices and collaborative areas literally and figuratively emphasize the company’s mission of transparency.

Interior of the goodrx headquarters, designed by RIOSWhile the workplace is geared towards collaboration, employees have plenty of space to distribute themselves to various lounge areas and workplaces. The employees have an estimated 150 square meters per person. Courtesy of JASPER SANIDAD

A minimalist wellness room can host yoga and meditation classes, and has even hosted company blood donations. The special mothers’ room can accommodate two to three mothers if they want company and conversation.

A hidden caretaker’s cupboard with cheeky bells and whistles leads to what Lantz calls the “pièce de résistance”. There is an almost sacred atmosphere in the whispering vintage bar, which Scottish designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh originally designed for the St. Mungo Vintners Pub in Glasgow, Scotland, at the beginning of the 20th century. When the bar closed in the 1970s, antique importer and dealer Mitchell Litt shipped the treasure to Los Angeles, where it was waiting for its next home. Millworker Art Carrasco from Artcrafters directed the restoration and installation of the bar. New elements, such as the wall lights from the Aperture series by Allied Maker and the wallpapers from the Cubism collection made of gold leaf on cork from Innovations, contribute to the multilayered look and feel of the room. It’s a unique perk of an unorthodox workplace that eschews the stereotypes of tech corporate culture.

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