Cavernous industrial spaces have become so synonymous with tech offices that one would hardly think of pitching investors without first securing at least a nominal amount of bare concrete and reclaimed wood. And really, there's no reason for ridesharing company Lyft's Mission District headquarters to break from tradition. When your mascot is a giant fluffy pink mustache, a pared-down backdrop is the sensible choice. The three-story HQ on Harrison Street, designed by Rapt Studio, is home to 375 employees, a dozen or so dogs, and 8,000 enormous pink whiskers. The lobby ceiling is essentially a giant push-broom mustache, and the reception desk is skirted in what we can only describe as a large inhabitable goatee.
Rapt worked with fabricators from the design house ANTLRE to construct all 8,000 whiskers by covering pool noodles in fuchsia fabric. "It's supposed to feel like you're walking inside the pink mustache," says communications manager Paige Thelen. The company's approach to the rest of the space—previously occupied by UCSF administration offices—is a more typical office-as-living-room M.O., with mismatched vintage chairs and couches clustered in intimate groups, an open kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, and the requisite bleacher seating for company-wide meetings. There's a band room, too, for employees who dabble as musicians to play together.
On the third floor, behind a portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, a hidden door opens into a secret library—a dim, quiet room scattered with seating (plus a little couch-side stash of booze on the floor). It's something of a shrine to perennial Movember contestant Tom Selleck, Lyft's anointed mustachioed hero—though Will Ferrell does make a cameo, via a printer named Ron Burgundy. Without further ado, here now is a portrait of the startup as a young 'stache.