Squarespace is in the business of developing brands. So it’s no surprise that the company—a website-building platform geared to the independent workforce—has a strong identity of its own. With spokesmen such as Keanu Reeves, John Malkovich, and Jeff Bridges (stars of some of the Millennial generation’s cult films) Squarespace, which began as a start-up in 2004 and now has nearly 800 employees in New York; Portland, Oregon; and Dublin, has relied heavily on the “cool” factor to attract a customer base and staff of young creatives. Likewise, the company’s new headquarters, in the 12-story 1927 Maltz Building, a former printing-district factory in New York’s West Village, exhibits a laid-back panache.

Additional Content:
Jump to credits & specifications

At the building’s base, a storefront lobby features exterior details of blackened steel and wire-brushed larch wood, which contrast with the original brick exterior in a way that is dramatic yet subtle. Peering into the loungelike space from the sidewalk, passersby might take it for a hotel. The misperception would be understandable. According to project architect Eliane Maillot of New York–based Architecture + Information (A+I), the design team took inspiration from the Roman and Williams–designed lobby of Manhattan’s Ace Hotel, which functions as both a study area and parlor. The intent for the reception space here, says Maillot, was to create a work-away-from-work zone, a calming environment furnished with couches and coffee tables in lieu of desks and chairs. Adapted from a loading dock, the 5,300-square-foot space is the company’s exclusive entrance (all other tenants access the building around the corner). Elevators transport employees directly to the main office spaces, which occupy the top three levels.

The lobby sets the tone for the larger Squarespace experience. Its minimal palette of off-white paint and ebonized wood paneling for the walls and ceilings, as well as concrete floors and furnishings, extends throughout the multilevel interior. “The brand identity is very black-and-white,” says founder and CEO Anthony Casalena, “but you’ll never see a hard black or a hard white—we varied the materials to get lots of texture.” The 36-year-old tech entrepreneur wielded a heavy hand in instituting the office’s aesthetic. “I’ve come to understand the power of design,” he says. “When it comes to brand identity, if it looks clean and smooth, it has a lot more credibility.”

Casalena wanted the new offices to be polished yet anti-corporate, with a relaxed, free-flowing, and democratic feel. Previously, the headquarters were spread out across four locations in SoHo, where employees would occasionally rely on WeWork spaces for lack of sufficient meeting areas. It was essential that the company’s new home be well-connected and cohesive, as well as have a range of flexible environments suitable for all teams, including marketing, engineering, and design.

The Maltz Building’s vast open floor plates and wraparound windows provided an ideal template for translating the Squarespace brand into a workplace for its now 530 New York employees. Around the building’s vertical circulation core, A+I clustered back-of-house functions and meeting spaces, creating a primary path of movement around each floor’s perimeter, through the different work settings; the main desk areas anchor the building’s east and west ends. “For workstations, there’s usually a set logic of straight rows,” says Maillot, “but we didn’t think it would give the ambience that Anthony wanted.” Instead, banks of custom-made precast-concrete desks are arranged diagonally, creating a more dynamic feel while optimizing space by incorporating the building’s flared mushroom columns rather than working around them. Anticipating growth, the desks were designed to be modular and easily added to.

In addition to these designated work zones, where Casalena sits among his employees, there are a number of informal nooks catering to off-the-cuff collaboration: alcoves with whiteboards are carved out of the main desk regions; intimate breakout spaces are tucked away at the edge of the floor; lounge chairs are placed along the circulation route. “If you’re working through some ideas and need to get away from your desk,” says Maillot, “you have quick access to a variety of places, from semiprivate to more public.” To activate the space, the designers separated two stairways, placing one at the eastern end, the other to the west, encouraging people to walk across the floor to travel to the two connected levels. A large, rounded aperture cut through the slab opens the lowest of the three floors visually to both the others.

On a recent spring afternoon, the office buzzed, with employees in T-shirts and hoodies lying on couches with their laptops, coworkers stopping to chat over quick coffees, and even dogs following their owners around. Keeping the young staff happy has been key to Squarespace’s success, notes Casalena. A favorite perk is the daily catered lunch, which is served hot in an airy and daylight-infused cafeteria and bar at the top level. “Happy hour was definitely a big consideration,” says Maillot. Another bonus: the views. Either inside, or out on the roof deck, which provides an additional gathering area, occupants can relax, eat, drink, and work surrounded by a sweeping vista of the Manhattan skyline.

Casalena says the office has proven to be the right environment for productivity and creativity to thrive—so much so that A+I is currently renovating two more levels in the building, gearing up to accommodate the fast-growing staff (the New York team has nearly doubled in size since moving in 2016). Now in its 15th year, the company has come a long way from its beginnings in Casalena’s dorm room at the University of Maryland. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the new space,” he says, “even though we’re running out of it.”

Back to Good Design Is Good Business 2018



A+I (Architecture Plus Information)

16 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010




Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Brad Zizmor

Dag Folger

Eliane Maillot

Laura Sinn

Cheryl Baxter

Brita Everett

Peter Knutson

Tim Aarsen

Alan Calixto

Megan Kalinowski

Ryan Erb

Katina Kremelberg


Architect of record:




Structural: Severud Associates

MEP: AMA Consulting Engineers



Exterior Wall Consultant: Vidaris, Inc.

Landscape: New York Green Roofs

Lighting: Lighting Workshop

Acoustics/ AV: Cerami & Associates

AV: Presentation Products

Expediting: Brookbridge Consulting Services, Inc.

Security: TM Technology Partners, Inc.


General contractor:

JRM Construction Management LLC.


Owner’s Representative:

Gardiner and Theobald



Magda Biernat, Geordie Wood


Exterior Cladding

Metal panels: Empire Metal and Glass

Metal/glass curtain wall: Kawneer

Wood: Patella Woodworking



Other: Glass Bulkhead Custom fabricated by Empire Metal and Glass




Wood doors: Patella

Sliding doors: Patella

Special doors: Modernfold



Locksets: PBA

Closers: Allegion

Pulls: PBA


Interior Finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong

Suspension grid: Armstrong

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Bauerschmidt & Sons, Inc

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore; Idea Paint

Wall coverings: Maharam

Solid surfacing: Corian

Floor and wall tile: Nemo tile

Resilient flooring: Marmoleum

Carpet: Tandus

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Existing concrete flooring



Office furniture: Herman Miller ; Custom Desk by JM Lifestyles

Reception furniture: Boffi, Montauk Sofa, Living Divani, Tacchini B&B Italia, Restoration Hardware

Chairs: Arper, Mater, Andrea World,  Sandler Seating

Tables: Arper, Sovet  Italia, MDF Italia

Upholstery: HBF Textiles, Knoll Textiles, Maharam

Other furniture: Arper, Hightower, Vipp, Vitra, Ligne Roset, Bernhardt, Kartell, Knoll



Downlights: Ketra

Dimming system or other lighting controls: Ketra

Decorative Lighting: Allied maker



Toilets: Toto

Faucets: Toto

Custom sinks with custom faucets: Bauerschmidt & Sons, Inc

Custom Faucets: Tristate Plumbing