A Look Inside Appian’s New McLean Office
Software company Appian hired design firm CRTKL to design their new office in McLean, Virginia.
“As Appian continued to grow, they engaged CRTKL to design an expansion floor in the neighboring office tower. The design of this new floor was started pre-pandemic and soon put on hold due to the changing nature of work. In 2021, Appian restarted the project. They challenged CRTKL to take a new look at the design with a focus on creating a hybrid office that would withstand future disruptors and create a space that encouraged employees to return to the office.
In keeping with employees’ desires in a post-pandemic office environment, the design strove to create an engaging and welcoming space through hospitality features, key brand elements, incorporation of nature, and flexible workspaces throughout. Elements of hospitality are on display in the clubhouse which features patterned flooring, panelized millwork, coffered ceilings, and custom curving banquette seating. The clubhouse and café open to a large outdoor terrace for work and social gatherings, creating a desired indoor/outdoor work environment. The café provides staff with snacks such as gourmet coffees and a frozen yogurt bar complete with dispensers full of cereal and other sweet toppings.
The corner of the clubhouse is anchored by a wooden “tree” with cascading layers of preserved moss. The tree’s canopy is made of acoustical and wood baffles with intermittent sparkle lights reminiscent of jars filled with fireflies, and the use of gobo lights gives the effect of dappled light through the tree branches. The clubhouse also has large picnic tables that offer “family style” dining and provide teams a place to meet and socialize. Another nod to nature is the “skylight” in the jewel box conference room off the reception area. The reception area has a custom faceted upholstered wall at the entry that serves as guest seating, conference breakout space, and a feature wall.
The new floor provides a variety of workspaces, including a clubhouse, terrace, and collaborative areas dispersed throughout the floor. These areas include glass markerboard “activity walls”, breakout booths with integrated AV, and project rooms with tiered bench seating.
Emphasis was also placed on ensuring the employees seated in this new space felt connected to and part of the company. To this end, CRTKL integrated elements from Appian’s newly revitalized brand throughout this expansion floor. Examples include the new logo as a life size ‘a’ sculpture in the reception and their node pattern in the metal screen and metal flooring inset. To maintain a cohesive feeling, a similar color palette and finishes to the rest of the headquarters were used while creating a unique space with a hospitality look and feel. Employees from the other office tower are also welcomed to utilize the expansion floor, further tying the headquarters spaces together.”
- Location: McLean, Virginia
- Date completed: 2020
- Size: 23,000 square feet
- Design: CallisonRTKL