Yves Béhar turns to nature for elemental co-working space in San Francisco
Two years ago designer Yves Béhar tapped into the philosophy that a well-appointed environment, lacking uniform cubicles and sterile lighting, can boost work ethic and foster productivity. He collaborated investor Steve Mohebi and designed Canopy with developer Amir Mortazavi, an elegant and ergonomic co-working space in San Francisco with an emphasis on refined and innovative design.
Following on the success of Canopy’s inaugural space on Fillmore Street, the Swiss designer has created a second location on Jackson Square, with the aim of creating more communities for small American businesses. Known for his innovation within the realm of domestic design (recent hits include an intelligent vinyl record player and an crib that rocks babies to sleep), Béhar’s interior design projects bear ample evidence of his technological expertise.
Béhar has infused the space with references to nature, as suggested by the name ‘Canopy’. A prominent yet minimalist tree-like canopy stands in the middle of the unconventional office space, with its ‘trunk’ and imposing network of ‘branches’ pragmatically doubling as shelves. The material palette is rich and tactile, with solid ash communal tables interspersed among conference tables of blackened ash and green and black marble.
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Canopy members can work on Béhar’s Sayl chairs and among his Public Office Landscape furniture system, both by US furniture brand Herman Miller – the latter implemented with Live OS technology to auto-adjust desks to their preferred height. Meanwhile, a handful of mid-century designs, including Eames chairs and Preben Dahl lighting create a warm atmosphere, perfect for mustering creative ideas. Glass-walled meeting rooms, a signature element from the original Canopy space, allow natural light to flood in, complementing the bold colour scheme of green and pink.
Canopy’s Jackson Square location is also is carefully considered – the neighbourhood borders the culturally significant North Beach, whose cafés and bars became the epicentre of the Beat Generation in the 1950s, and ultimately contributed to the rise of the San Francisco Renaissance.§