Cushing Terrell designed the new AppFolio office building in Richardson, Texas. The objective of AppFolio’s project was to combine its Dallas-area staff, which had previously been spread over two different locations, into a single, 48,000-square-foot, two-story office structure. Cushing Terrell designed a unified, harmonious environment that promotes long-term growth, honors the AppFolio brand and culture, increases productivity, makes it easier to hire new employees, and fosters employee pleasure.
A centrally situated flexible greeting and work-lounge area that doubles as a meeting and event space for both internal and external clients was the focus of this multi-phase tenant improvement project. The open and collaborative workplaces for each AppFolio team are connected to this area, which serves as the center of the building.
In order to foster teamwork and enjoyment among teams and to maintain a strong business culture, the work environment also includes shared conference rooms, support spaces, and staff facilities (gaming room, exercise room and showers, extra break places). The overall appearance and atmosphere of the room combines the charm of rural Texas with the contemporary ambiance of a technologically advanced workplace.
From the architects: The opportunity for AppFolio to take over the lease for the second floor of their office building in Richardson, Texas, meant the company could consolidate its Dallas-area-workforce into a single, two-story, 48,000-square-foot Texas headquarters. With a commitment to purposely support team members, AppFolio wanted to create a place where employees wanted to be — a place that would facilitate collaboration and teamwork while making life a little easier through amenities that help maintain work-life balance.
The design for the multi-phase, tenant improvement project kicked off in April 2020. Senior Interior Designer Jill Lee calls it a “COVID baby,” as it was one of the first projects the Cushing Terrell interior design team conducted entirely remote with team members and partners in California, Colorado, Idaho, and Texas. Given that the Cushing Terrell design team was accustomed to working with teams across office locations, remote collaboration came naturally, but not seeing the site in person was a challenge. Leveraging technology to its fullest, the team utilized remote video collaboration and visualization tools, including creating full-scale models in Matterport to get an understanding of the physical space and to conceptualize all needed areas with a cohesive design between first and second floors.
To create a workplace where the need to be with colleagues and celebrate team culture would be fulfilled, the team anchored the design on breakrooms called “watercoolers.” The nucleus of the first floor is a large community gathering space that starts at the front door and flows through collaboration areas to the watercooler space. The centrally located reception and work-lounge area serves as both an internal and client-facing meeting and event space. On the second floor, work and collaboration areas also center around the watercooler. An important part of planning was to ensure all the collaboration spaces were fully equipped with monitors and AV equipment for convenient, planned, or impromptu gatherings.
With culture top of mind, the design team did a lot of research, including interviewing staff about what they love most about the Dallas area in order to convey the aesthetics of the AppFolio culture and create a vibrant, inspiring environment. The resulting look and feel of the office interiors blend the romance of rustic Texas with the modern vibe of a technology hub. Inspiration came from the Visit Dallas mural in Deep Ellum created by artist Brynner Aldrich (who was hired to create custom graphics for the AppFolio workplace) and the geography of Texas and the north central plains.
For example, the light fixtures and acoustic baffles chosen by the design team reflect the shapes and colors of wildflowers, including bluebonnets, the Texas state flower. Other Dallas and Texas-specific symbols are incorporated throughout, such as the Pegasus Mobil Oil icon in the game room, copper ceiling tiles decorated with longhorns, and colorful graffiti art.
The work environment includes shared meeting rooms, support spaces, and employee amenities (game room, fitness room and showers, additional break areas) to promote collaboration and fun between teams. The unified, cohesive workspace celebrates the AppFolio brand and culture, enhances productivity, facilitates recruitment and employee satisfaction, and supports long-term growth.
Architecture: Cushing Terrell
Interior Design: Cushing Terrell
Structural Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Mechanical Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Electrical Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Lighting: Cushing Terrell
Contractor: MAPP Built
Cushing Terrell design team
Jill Lee | Senior Interior Designer
Kyle Johnson | Architect
Dylan Davies | Design Professional
Laura Dougherty | Associate Principal – Architect
Greg Gedney | Executive Director of Educational Development
Patrick Moranville | Electrical Engineer
Lance Faulkner | Electrical Engineer
Sarah Dykes | Design Technician
Priscilla Sager | Mechanical Engineer
Madlin Miller | Interior Design Professional
Jacob Mortensen | Mechanical Engineer
Brandon Besser | Structural Engineer
Megan Cranston | Design Professional
Mike Nitschke | Mechanical Engineer
Ross Hamand | Design Technician
LightArt – Acoustic Lighting
Shaw Contract – Carpet
Concrete Collaborative – Concrete Countertops
CertainTeed Ceilings – Heartfelt Acoustic Ceiling
Brynner Aldrich – Custom Wall Graphic Design