Perkins and Will creates a playful workplace for e-commerce startup Spreetail

Shoots & Ladders

Solidifying their place in Austin’s tech-savvy landscape even further, top architecture firm Perkins and Will has just completed a multi-story HQ for edgy e-commerce company Spreetail. Transforming a former bar in a historic, dare we say picturesque, building along one of the Texan city’s main drags, the firm helped brand the startup with a colorful scheme that appears to be bursting from within its brickwork shell.

Colorful accents throughout the three-story office building help driven the brand's identity home.

Geometric details help anchor the bold color scheme.

(Casey Dunn)

Such aesthetic contrast makes it so that the project’s facade resembles a Shoots and Ladder board; certainly to the delight of any child obsessed with building-scenario games. The firm’s goal was to create a dynamic design that could facilitate a rapidly-growing company, not just to apease a group of local aesthetes concerned with the alternative city’s curb appeal.

Shipping container-inspired break out spaces foster collaboration. (Casey Dunn)

The top two floors of this converted industrial building house open plan workstations. (Casey Dunn)

Inside, a playful matrix of workspace, break out zones, and amenities underscores the young brand’s values. The reception area boasts a neon Spreetail sign and colored graphics, with a wooden architectural sculptured ceiling making an additonal statement. A lounge, mezzanine, and all-hands area greet employees immediately following reception, all prominently featuring the company’s signature hues: turquoise, aqua, and coral. This engaging theme plays well off of the building’s raw industrial core.

The all-hands atrium sits at the base of the core building shaft, that floods natural light into all levels. (Casey Dunn)

Speedtail's brand identity is hard to miss. (Casey Dunn)

(Casey Dunn)

Comfortable seating throughout welcomes guests and serves as a multipurpose area for talent recruitment, interviews, and training sessions. The all-hands atrium space is outfitted with bespoke hammocks, tiered rows of benches, and casual bean bag chairs. While shipping container-inspired alcoves promote collaboration, the top two open-plan floors are reserved for individual workstations. Both levels have designated coffee bars along with phone, huddle, and conference rooms for privacy.

Existing industrial accents are accentuated throughout the project.

(Casey Dunn)

A central atrium shaft floods natural light to all three levels, each of which its own coded color palette. Overall, a rich arsenal of materials—woods, metals, and textiles—helps create an environment that is graphically bold, true to context, and conducive to employee needs.