Gensler Newport Beach

  • User Side Images Image 363
    Biking for inter-office travel. Photo: Nick Merrick.
  • User Side Images Image 364
    The main staircase, designed to enhance connectivity between the ground and upper floors. Photo: Ryan Gobuty.

LOCATION: Newport Beach, California
TYPE: Office Building
SIZE: 20,000 SQ. FT.
PROJECT PARTNERS: Innerspace, Glumac

Gensler is a leader in Active Design in the workplace and they show what can be done by the design of their own offices. The images of staff members scooting and biking around the building are inspiring!” said David Burney.

Recognizing that health risks can be diverted through simple design solutions, Gensler intentionally designed its Newport Beach office to optimize the likelihood individuals actively moving around the space. The design team used Active Design principles to promote transparency within the surrounding community, collaboration and innovation among staff, and new modes of working.
To improve individual health, Gensler launched a “Healthy Workplace Initiative” to activate their offices around the world.

Active Design Highlights

  • A dramatic interconnecting stair enhances the connection between ground and upper floors, creating a light-filled, transparent work environment for employees.
  • Building program, such as the production room, break room, restrooms, and centralized trash/recycle bins are on different floors, requiring employees to move throughout the building during the day.
  • Bike storage is provided to promote active commuting.
  • Interoffice mobility is promoted through light- and art-filled corridors.


  • Scooters and bikes were purchased for the office and are routinely used for inter-office travel during the day.
  • The open office plan has allowed for a larger number of break-away areas to encourage people to move away from their desks and into alternative work environments.
  • Follow up evaluation/tracking systems are in place to understand how employees are moving and using the new space.