Underground Elephant

About This Project

Our full scope design and construction of the interior of the historic TR Produce building, located directly across from Petco Park, transformed the new headquarters for tech startup Underground Elephant into more than just a place to work — this town-within-a-building is a hub for creativity, collaboration, and community engagement.

Transparency and visibility are the hallmarks of the design. We utilized both the building’s history and its historical materials — wood, steel, brick, and concrete — to create a series of eclectic and open multi-era, multi-level vignettes to differentiate the interior into multi-functional spaces.

The Main Hall Park, with five living 100-year-old olive trees lit with custom street lamps and piped-in sunlight, simultaneously connects all of the areas and offers its own space for contemplation. The main level and mezzanine work areas, united with two custom hot rolled steel staircases, give ample traditional work space. The conference rooms share a remote-activated pivoting teeter-totter light fixture, while the Executive War Room sports its own custom pendant light that mirrors the shape of the two-ton table below it.

The Sunken Living Room affords just the right amount of privacy when needed. And in a portable world, the corner Lounge Cafe is the perfect place to work or lunch atop a massive tractor tread communal table. At 1200 square feet the centerpiece School House, with full-height pivot doors capped by a vintage school bell and schoolhouse window, is a true gathering place for company and town hall meetings.

Throughout the space, each area has been carefully considered and designed to be as flexible as it is unique.

The Details

Year Completed: 2016
Location: East Village, San Diego
Square Footage: 22,500
Type: Creative Office
Client: Underground Elephant
Photographer: Zack Benson
Awards: 2016 SDAF Orchid for Interior Design