What is AirBnb?

If you haven’t already used (or at least heard of) the acclaimed home rental website that’s been storming the traveling world and disrupting the hotel industry, we’d be very surprised. Founded in 2008, AirBnb has changed the accommodation game for good, allowing those on a budget (and also those not on a budget) to experience incredible cities all over the globe by offering affordable homestays and apartments rented out by YOU, the people of the world.

Find or list unique homes in quaint towns or bustling capitals, partake in exciting events and activities that you might not hear about from your local travel agents, and seek out adventures in distant lands or right on your doorstep. AirBnb aims to bring travelers and tourists closer to the people who want their area of the world to be explored, experienced, and thoroughly enjoyed.

The Concept

Inspired by all the different listings that were up on the website, the AirBnb “Environments” team collaborated with San Francisco-based architecture firm WRNS Studio to create some office spaces that reflect the aesthetics of 16 different cities from around the world! The warehouse-like building, situated at 999 Brannan Street in “The City by the Bay,” has undergone a complete cultural transformation, showcasing themes from places like Buenos Aires, Kyoto, Jaipur, and Amsterdam on each of its four stories.
The concept emulates the company’s “Belong Anywhere” ethos, featuring conference rooms that have been influenced by real-life listings. One room has taken on the look of an English castle, embodying the Victorian era with its lavish tufted Earl sofas and 19th-century window treatments. Another office owes its materials to 1880s Montana, furnished with rustic lanterns, animal skins, and a wood burning fireplace.

“We want it to feel like a custom home to every inhabitant.” — Aaron Taylor Harvey, Executive Creative Director of AirBnb Environments.

The Office Spaces

Each of the 16 workspaces houses a conference room, a phone room, and large communal tables, and all of the offices are linked together by a space referred to as “The Castle.” On the top floor is “The Boat,” a structural wooden piece reminiscent of a simple ship that’s been built with cubby holes to allow for private work. The office also boasts a yoga room, a wellness center, and storage areas for employees’ personal belongings — everything needed for a creative, bright, and thought-provoking work environment.

The first-ever listing to be advertised on AirBnb was, in fact, an apartment in San Francisco, so one of the rooms’ designs was created to be an exact replica of it. Sourcing various items from all over the world in order to achieve uncanny resemblances, the team even fitted this office with a bed to remind them of how it all began! Other spaces mimic the likes of Paris, Bali, and Reykjavik, further reinforcing the ideas of travel and adventure in the office.
“Simply having photos of listings and far-off places was not enough. It is not just about recalling the memories, but about feeling that you’re there.” — Brian Chesky, AirBnb Co-Founder and CEO.