Kid’s play pioneer Toca Boca celebrate five years with new headquarters designed to be an inspirational playground
- Parker Barry
Featuring secret hiding places, human sized toy cars, rainbow-coloured meeting spaces and oversized furniture, every aspect of the new headquarters opened by forward-thinking technology company and kid’s app developer Toca Boca, has been crafted to help its staff see the world through the playful eyes of a child. Reflecting an ethos and unique approach to creating children’s digital toys, which has helped the company quickly become one of the world’s most successful app developers since launching five years ago.
The new Stockholm headquarters, co-created with Toca Boca employees, have been built to be a welcoming and stimulating environment for the staff and children designing the company’s educational, gender-neutral apps, which all promote diversity, creativity and imagination.
The child friendly space features a loophole to a hidden space for kids, an oversized furniture meeting room, a Japanese coin-operated vending machine and life-size versions of the vehicles from the Toca Cars app for staff to drive. Like other Toca Boca offices in New York and San Francisco, the two-storey building welcomes children every week who visit to help test, inspire and inform the new apps being created that have received over 100 million downloads in 215 countries. Where more than 1,500 children have play-tested the 32 Toca Boca apps released to date, to help perfect the gameplay experience before being released.
Set in an old light bulb factory that overlooks a giant man-made ski slope, the new Toca Boca HQ for over 40 designers, developers and researchers is littered with toys and stimulating art, being custom built to feel like a ‘home’ to inspire creativity amongst employees and reflect the company’s unwavering ethos of encouraging ‘creative play without rules’.
Measuring 1080 square metres, the office was carefully constructed to ensure it incorporated the functionalist design of the original building, which dates back to 1930. The interior design was a joint collaboration between Fabian Wanqvist of How Arkitekter and Toca Boca’s own designers who combined the building’s existing attributes with the Toca Boca colours and shapes to create a playful working environment, with a homely feel, that communicated the company’s distinctive creative principles.
“I hope every adult or child spending time here feels inspired and sees it as a place that helps unlock their imagination. We wanted to create a strong sense of ‘play’ throughout the whole building for staff and children to be inspired by, rather than having just one dedicated play area or corner. We’re proud of the result which is a fun and open environment that reflects our quirkiness, designed in a way that completely transports you into the world of Toca Boca”, says Mathilda Engman, Head of Consumer Products at Toca Boca and lead designer on the project.
The colour-clad interior has 13 different meeting spaces all designed to facilitate connection, easy interaction and provide the flexible workspace required for the agile, dynamic production process that is the core of Toca Boca. Each room represents the company’s ‘brand’ colours, resulting in bright, rainbow-coloured walls of green, yellow, pink, orange and blue. Whilst the kitchen houses an evolving artwork that celebrates each of the 32 Toca Boca digital toys that have been released.
“Toca Boca’s unique design principles gave us a clear compass to follow. We created a graphic wall that is present throughout the whole space, like a backbone connecting the project through its colours, shapes and details. The custom-moulded staircase emphasises this effect further by being an integrated part of the wall. The office has been designed to provide both the flexibility and easy communication a dynamic company like Toca Boca requires. For example, work and meeting spaces are linked to ease the creative process and there are no fixed lights above work stations so the teams can evolve and grow naturally in this adaptable environment”, says Architect Fabian Wanqvist of Stockholm based studio How Arkitekter.
For more information and access to press images, contact:
Rebecca Crusoe, Head of PR Europe, Toca Boca
+ 46 70 279 54 55