Fast Company Recognizes the Innovative Design of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has been recognized in Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design Awards, a program that recognizes people, teams and companies solving problems through design. The Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed project was honored in the Workplace category.

Innovation by design is the only competition to honor creative work at the intersection of design, business, and innovation.

The awards, which are featured in the October 2019 issue of Fast Company (on newsstands today), recognizes an influential and diverse group of leaders in fashion, architecture, graphic design, data visualization, social good, user experience, mobility, and more.

Photo by Adam Rouse.

Located in San Francisco’s China Basin neighborhood just opposite AT&T Park, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) headquarters is designed to meet the organization’s unique needs in addressing national health issues and health policy. Unlike traditional non-profits, KFF develops and runs its own policy analysis, polling, and journalism programs, including Kaiser Health News, and their new office directly accommodates these specialized functions.

In addressing the space — a former industrial warehouse — the design team tackled the challenge of creating an open, airy, collaborative headquarters with extraordinary views to San Francisco Bay, while at the same time allowing occupants to do focused, individual work. The inherent conflict between these two objectives informed the solution, which includes clusters of glass-enclosed private offices strategically placed to feel private and inward-focused when seated at a desk, but transparent and open to daylight and views when standing.

The office design incorporates existing steel sash windows and exposed raw concrete columns with modern elements and a materials palette of reclaimed walnut, bronze, and teak. Upon entering the lobby, guests are greeted by an active LED wall that features the latest heath news headlines. The display is incorporated into an illustrative health care history timeline exhibit, developed in collaboration with the client. These two elements — headlines and history — travel in parallel along the entry wall to be experienced simultaneously.

In 2019 the Innovation by Design awards honored 483 projects, products and services. To view a complete list of honorees, see the full write-up.

Designing buildings that inspire connection and wonder in every person who experiences them.