CREO: The recently renovated Exelixis executive headquarters and administrative building is the new home for the company’s expanding operations, which focus on genomics based drug discovery for several types of cancer. The existing office park, located in Alameda, California, is just feet away from the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The sound of planes taking off and landing at the nearby Oakland Airport is a constant reminder of the hustle and bustle of this thriving part of the Bay. The goal for the project was to maximize outdoor space for employees and provide a productive and elegant outdoor working, gathering and dining space to enjoy the beautiful Alameda weather. It was also important to create a sense of arrival and orientation for guests visiting the campus.

Creo worked closely with the executives to program and design a new formal drop off area, two new entry plazas and three patio spaces. The formal drop off area and entry plazas welcome both employees and visitors with bold forms and textured planting, signifying the arrival to Exelixis. Large, underutilized lawn panels and passive landscape space were transformed into the series of three flexible, dynamic exterior patios which activate the outdoor spaces and encourage employees to spend time outside.

A custom vertical steel and FSC certified Ipe fence is a consistent translucent backdrop for each patio and provides security, enclosure and crucial screening from the adjacent parking lot – essential for making the patios a success. The language of the fence continues with the custom privacy pods for private meetings and smaller groups as well as a western facing custom trellis at the all hands main patio space. Details of the patios help enrich the spaces. Varied paver colours and sizes, curving concrete planters, raised wood platforms and organic shapes delineate communal and more intimate spaces. Colourful cantilevered umbrellas and bright, movable chairs add a pop of color along with an elegant planting palette selected for aesthetics and tolerance of coastal conditions.

Role of your office in the project: Landscape Architect: CREO
Other designers involved: Architect: DGA
Project location: Alameda, CA
Design year: 2017
Year Built: 2018

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