Irvine, California

For Acorns — an unconventional investment services firm that counts Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Lopez and Kevin Durant as investors — the ready-made metaphor found in the firm’s name provided a creative focus and the inspiration for the design of its new headquarters in Irvine, California.

Acorns had outgrown its earlier home — a white, minimalist office in nearby Newport Beach that wasn’t a good fit. Acorns prides itself on exuding personality in the often-staid financial services industry. CEO Noah Kerner has called the firm’s offerings a “financial wellness system,” creating a financial infrastructure for millions of younger clients.

The new headquarters is in a four-story office building that is part of a large corporate campus in Irvine. The design takes full advantage of the blank canvas to create a new stage for the firm to connect with clients. Wood and organic materials reflect a warmer, sustainable environment. Much of the artwork on display was created by employees. Signature design elements include a two-story, abstract wood sculpture recalling a stout oak tree, which sprouts out of the lobby floor. A moss-covered wall creates another connection to nature.

The offices and collaboration spaces reflect that sense of comfort and versatility. Spread over four levels, the open workspaces and offices, accented with blocks of green, can be easily expanded or downsized, depending on how and where employees work. The collaborative workspaces and conference rooms offer different furniture and seating choices, including bean bag chairs. Swinging glass doors open to the exterior, a nod to transparency and openness that reflects the company’s values and allows for indoor-outdoor staff meetings.

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