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Basecamp HQ in Chicago

For years we were a mostly remote company, with a handful of us working out of our Chicago HQ. In 2020, we decided to go 100% remote and 100% office-free. We’re keeping this page around for the occasional stroll down memory lane.

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.

the view when you enter the Basecamp office

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.

One of the Basecamp 'phone booths'

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.

An example of the soft surfaces in the office

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.

Two Basecampers working in the lounge

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).

the Basecamp team working in the theater

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.

one of the Basecamp team rooms

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.

David having a snack in the kichen

Here’s one of our group lunches.

the team having a group lunch

And we can’t forget the Fatboys! A crowd favorite.

Ann relaxing in one of the lounge Fatboys

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.