by Andrew Verderame on January 30, 2015
As many of you might have heard, the IFMA Boston Chapter was given a special tour of Carbonite Incorporated’s new office facility on January 20th. The event was titled “Carbonite – Episode I: A New Space” and showcased Carbonite’s Star Wars-themed office, fully equipped with several modernly designed meeting rooms, a large multipurpose room, arcade games, and a café stocked with candy, healthy snacks, and drinks. In case you haven’t heard of Carbonite, it is a Boston-based online backup firm that takes its name from the substance which the character Han Solo was frozen in during the original Star Wars movies. The idea of being frozen plays a key role in the purpose of Carbonite’s work, which is to preserve or “freeze” customer data through backup. Hence the Star Wars theme to their new office, which had touches of the sci-fi movies all throughout the design of their facility, including: salt and pepper shakers, bathroom signs, wall murals, room names, and even a life-size model of the all-wise Yoda.
Carbonite’s well-stocked café room
The event started with a brief networking session which included drinks and appetizers. The night officially kicked-off with a panel discussion by the key players for Carbonite’s new office project. Carbonite was represented by Danielle Sheer, General Counsel and Reetika Vijay, Managing Principal. Also included in the panel were Shawn Gallant from Columbia Construction, and Roger Kaufmann from Environments at Work. The panel discussed the reason for the office move, which was stimulated by the need for more room for employees as well as to keep up with the competition of hot tech-startups that were also in the Downtown Crossing area. According to Reetika Vijay, the biggest challenge overall for the project was “balancing the design aesthetic with the Star Wars inspiration.” In addition to Columbia and Environments at Work, Carbonite’s project team consisted of Jones Lang LaSalle, Interior Architects, Boston Corporate Art, and Signworks. The project itself started its design phase December 2013, with construction beginning in July 2014, and Carbonite officially moving in during October 2014.
Once the panel discussion was complete, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions and were then directed into small groups for individual tours of the office space. It was a great chance to get up-close and personal with the design of the facility, learning how the office space was catered to employees and see the incorporation of the latest-and-greatest furniture and technology. The 50,000 square-foot facility is also almost entirely comprised of idea-paint, which is a type of surface finish that allows residents to draw and write on it like a whiteboard. The office space in total houses 400 employees and gives adequate space for each of Carbonite’s working teams. The most interesting feature of the office is arguably the sliding walls that separate the training room from the café, which are branded with Star Wars characters and can open fully so that the training room and café space can become one large town hall area.
Overall it was great experience for members to see the innovation and design of one of Boston’s newest offices. It will be interesting to see the success that results from Carbonite’s new space and its impact on its employees’ performance. One can only hope that such a well-designed facility as Carbonite’s can inspire its residents to “use the force” and increase the company’s accomplishments.
-Andrew Verderame, Member of the PR & Community Projects Committee – IFMA Boston
One of Carbonite’s Star Wars-themed office rooms