Coalesse Studio

Project Details:

  • Located in San Francisco’s “design center” neighborhood
  • 4,000 sq. ft.
  • Space for 12 team members
  • Open plan office design with a café focal point
  • 75% collaborative workspace

Coalesse Studio in San Francisco has workspaces and collaborative areas that can be configured to support collaboration and private work.

The Coalesse Design Group is the creative center of the Coalesse brand and responsible for product and showroom design. Their studio is located in San Francisco which serves as a constant source of inspiration and insight into progressive work trends. San Francisco is renowned for its vibrant cultural and technology community, making it the ideal location for the team’s explorations, conceptual development, and open-minded point-of-view.

The Coalesse Studio is home to a dozen full time residents including the design team, members of brand communications, product development and leadership. It also hosts countless visitors and partners from around the world. When faced with the challenge of moving the studio, the team took the opportunity to examine how they worked, and the ways their workspace could reflect the Coalesse brand mission to bring new life to work.

“We believe in experimenting on ourselves,” said John Hamilton, Coalesse director of design, of incorporating the mission into the studio design. “The space and all the furnishings demonstrate the different ways in which we are connecting three central themes - craft, comfort and customization - to our work and what we are exploring.”

“This move allowed us to rethink our space and how we use it,” said Hamilton. “We considered how we could program the space in new ways that fit better with our work process, leverage the rapid prototyping tools of product design and have space to share our thinking openly.” 

Coalesse Design Group designers gather along Exponents Boards to collaborate on projects

The goal of the new studio design was to create a collaborative and transparent environment that offered staff more choices for work based on their personal style or work activity. The final design provides each resident with an assigned home base at a height adjustable bench centrally located in an open plan. 

75% of the studio is described as collaborative, including two enclosed enclaves and one large conference room. The meeting rooms are equipped with technology to bridge the distance between San Francisco and global partners. The rest of the space is designed to visibly connect the design team with projects actively in development.

“The new studio was designed to support the way the team works,” explained Hamilton. “It is composed of settings that support all of the parts of the design process and has the tools to allow the ideas to develop quickly. There are spaces for working together or working alone. There is space for prototyping and for creating in a variety of ways. There are spaces for project work to remain up and out so that projects can be active and shared.” 

Two designers work in the loft space of the Coalesse Studio in San Francisco

The residents have increased flexibility to create space as needed. The use of Exponents Boards allows the team to quickly configure collaborative workspaces within the open plan. Even though the studio is open and collaborative, staff can still find space for personal focus and rejuvenation in the privacy of an enclave, the library beside sun-filled windows or the loft-like attic space. 

Additionally, the new studio has a welcome area for guests that is separate from the designers’ primary working space. This allows for hosting partners comfortably without disclosing any proprietary information. The separation also provides additional space for the team to focus as needed.

High-craft touches, such as iconic Carl Hansen & Son seating and tables, access to natural light and an open café in the center of the floor plan, make the Coalesse Studio an inspiring and inviting space. According to Hamilton, the studio achieves one of its primary goals: “to encourage the team to work in new ways that will make us all better. When we’re with others, we do our best work.” 

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