Basecamp HQ in Chicago
While people who work at Basecamp can live and work anywhere they want, about 14 of us work out of our Chicago headquarters.
We opened this office in August of 2010. It was formerly a 10,000 sqft empty concrete box, used by Crate & Barrel as their photo studio. We spent a year designing and building it out with our friends at Brininstool+Lynch.
When you walk in, you see clear through to the far wall of 10 foot windows. Natural light floods the space.
Pictured to the right in the photo below, the office features private phone booths where people can make business or personal calls without worrying about someone else hearing them. You’ll also see the entrance lobby to the far left in the photo below.
We treat the open spaces in the office like a library - quiet, calm, respectful. Lots of natural light and soft materials like carpeting, cork, acoustical tiles, and felt drape the hard surfaces. This reduces sound transmission and also adds warmth and texture to the space.
We’ve got a nice loungy area off to one side. It’s quiet, comfortable, and a great place for a small team to work together.
We built out a theater that seats 37 people. We use this space for guest speakers, presentations, conferences, and workshops. And sometimes we gather together in this space when we’re hard at work preparing to launch something new (as seen below).
Here’s a shot looking into one of the “team rooms”. We have five such team rooms in the office. These are where small teams can work together on ideas, new features, designs, or anything else that requires full-volume talking without disturbing anyone at their desk in the main work area.
Here’s everyone’s favorite space. The kitchen! The huge table seats 20. It’s both a dining table, a conference room table, and a huge social work space. It’s big enough to handle the whole company when everyone’s in town.
Here’s one of our group lunches.
And we can’t forget the Fatboys! A crowd favorite.
If moving pictures are more your style, here are some slow pans of the office. Note: We used to be called “37signals” (which is why you’ll see that in the video), but we changed the name of the company to Basecamp in February 2014. Same product, same people, just a new name.