I often wonder while watching movies “How do they come up with these great ideas“, but apparently behind every great movie is an amazing crew and apparently a workspace that bleeds creativity and happiness. Imagine if we all worked at a place that rocked 15 different cereals, multiple movie theaters, scooters to get to and fro, a pool, a soccer field, hammocks, and geese……….work by definition would cease to exist. It would be something you did for fun~ you might actually LOVE going to “work”. This must be the feeling the employees at the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California have. It is just beautiful.
Situated over the old Oakland baseball park where the late Babe Ruth once played, Pixar Animation Studios literally built it’s foundation on greatness. From there….I mean greatness has just continued to pour out with movies like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters University, and the upcoming The Good Dinosaur. While Pixar rests on 22 acres, their crown jewel is the Steve Jobs building. It’s the building the bugs built per the employees as it was funded with the proceeds from A Bug’s Life.
Unfortunately, Steve Jobs never had the chance to see the building in completion as he passed away before the building was finished. He would have delighted in watching his vision come to life. Steve Jobs played a huge role in the design of the Pixar Animation Studios, creating a space that was both industrial, airy, inviting, and of course creativity inducing.
Every aspect of the building was intentional. Designed much like our brain, the left side is home to the computers while the right side is home to the arts. The crew just refers to the sections as if they lived in New York City~ they may say “I’ll meet you in the Upper East side”. NY neighborhoods right here in Emeryville. While they don’t have earthquakes in NYC, they do in Emeryville so the Pixar Animation Studios was built with rubber isolators in the foundation to allow a shift up to 3 feet from an earthquake. Genius, I tell ya!
When you enter the Steve Jobs building you are immediately overwhelmed with the vast space framed out with industrial steel beams (all handpainted by the way to add petenia resembling an old factory) and brick walls. Steve Jobs LOVED very specific bricks so when it came time to design the walls he had the brick company REOPEN just to create those beautiful bricks! This is my favorite wall…..Is it the bricks or this gorgeous painting of Arlo and Spot from The Good Dinosaur overlooking the world?
The entire building was designed to encourage interaction. Steve Jobs believed that a company’s success was in their communication. A great way to get people to communicate is to bring them together! His original plan was to only have 1 unisex bathroom so everyone had to see each other on their way to the only bathroom on the first floor…..he was overturned. The first floor now features 1 boy and 1 girl bathroom, sooo everyone gets a chance throughout the day to see each other as they make their way to the restrooms.
The core of the building is the massive atrium- the Town Square that features a mail center, cafeteria, kitchen, and wide open ample space to sit and talk about progress and upcoming projects! My favorite feature in that HUGE space is the breakfast room with EVERY type of milk available, oatmeal, toast, and A WALL OF CEREAL!! I had a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal; which by the way is THE most popular cereal there according to their order sheets.
From the atrium you can see the front entrance and it’s wall to wall of windows. Steve Jobs wanted everyone to be able to see outdoors~ inspiration can be found everywhere! The front entrance is also home of some pretty amazing people…..
Luigi and Guido are the most adorable people! Disney’s Cars is one of my favorite “boy” Disney movies (I have to categorize as I have too many favorites), and seeing these guys reminds me of my amazing trip to Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure Park.
Lots of characters can be found around the Pixar campus! Who is your favorite!
Pixar is successful because they invest in their staff. The building design shows that they invest in their well being and in them as people. The upper floor has halls full of creator’s personal artwork and projects so everyone *Including Pixar* can celebrate personal victories. This is where Sanjay’s Patel art was before it turned into an AMAZING new short for The Good Dinosaur. More on that later! If you can manage to break free of this awesome space, Pixar has 22 acres to explore! Remember inspiration can be found everywhere!
The Pixar campus has a soccer field to get some energy out, it sits in front of the Brooklyn building. That building has a permanent resident on top of it. Do you see him? I will give you a clue…..MINE! MINE! MINE!
Doesn’t that get you excited for Finding Dory!?! The campus has a gym, a pool, resting spaces, outdoor grills, and much more- open to employees all the time. I asked “How does anyone get work done?“. Apparently, if you work for Disney Pixar and you work here…..you wouldn’t do anything to compromise that! All of these wonderful things only increases productivity. I knew that Steve Jobs was a smart man!
All throughout the Pixar Animation Studios campus, the crew were working hard for the new movie, The Good Dinosaur! And I am sooo excited to share more about this heartwarming movie and to show you all the work that goes into bringing you such an amazing movie!
For now, you can view the trailer and marvel out the “Big Sky” of the Northwest. The trailer also features one of my favorite scenes…..something to do with little gophers. I can’t wait to take the kids to see the full movie on November 25th~ it will be the perfect Thanksgiving week!
Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more insight into The Good Dinosaur as we have tons of interviews and behind scenes looks to share with you!