Far more than the standard compilation of desks and computers, the Sugar Land headquarters of Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (HCSS) is a game-changer in office design with unique amenities ranging from an adult slide to a climbing cargo net.
HCSS CEO Mike Ryden tells CultureMap, “I wanted to build a building specifically for software developers that would allow them to work the way they want to work and also be a great recruiting tool for new developers."
That meant seeking inspiration from Google headquartrers, known for its unique campus and colorful, collaborate work environments. And it meant bringing in Studio RED architects to handle the 15,400 square foot project.
The result, built by Rosenberger Construction, is a contemporary, somewhat whimsical office that boasts "spaces to increase the collaboration, communication, and workspace flexibility of our software developers," according to Tom Webb, HCSS' vice president of strategy/R&D.
The goal was to create a building which would complement the working environment needed to support software programming and development. Rather than the typical massive open areas or cubicle farms, the design features 18 rooms or pods that can seat between three and eight individuals, the typical size of project teams. A lounge space, open to both floors of the two-story building, joins the pods together.
And then the fun part. "We also added a cargo net for climbing to the second floor and a slide to come down," Rydin said "to show management's commitment to a fun and creative work environment.”
In terms of developing a design aimed at recruiting and retaining talent, it seems that Studio RED succeeded. “I love the slide," said Robert Foster. "I work on the second floor, so using the slide at the end of the day makes me feel like I'm in the Flintstones.”
No surprise then that HCSS has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal for the past eight years as one of the best places to work.