The Gensler Firm, with its home base in San Francisco, California’s Hills Brothers Coffee building, is the largest architectural firm in the world. With offices in fourteen countries and 4500 employees, Gensler’s influence is wide spread. On a warm Friday afternoon in April, we toured the office alongside the Embarcadero, giving me a glimpse into its diverse operations.
The various nodes inside the space served both specific and broad needs, and the resources within the space provided endless ideas, textures, and colors. The areas for people to work together, sharing and developing plans and strategies, were many , and employ the most inventive and modern approaches in both an aesthetic and utilitarian sense.
An institution in the architectural field since 1965, M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, originally began with a focus on corporate interiors, but has branched out dramatically into many other buildings, facilities, and functions. While touring the offices, I noticed several areas devoted to materials and resources to give visual and textural representation to ideas. Samples were abound for everything a designer could imagine: flooring and wall options, tile and carpet, and a smell of newness permeated the air with the freshness of every notion. Ideas became storyboards and creative energy echoed from every corner.
I wish I could have had a few hours to look through the library at Gensler, what I could see was inviting and enticing, especially because the library was surrounded by the abundance of material samples. With all of the factors available, I could imagine being able to piece together a solid design in a marginal amount of time, and subsequent ideas flowing as well.