We’re hiring! Think you’d be a good fit for our team? Visit our careers page for open positions.

Brand Identity & Interiors for a Boutique Coworking Space

Seven Starlings Workloft

An integrated team brings an immersive brand experience to life, anchored by a conceptual exploration of biomimicry and emergence.

Nestled on the ground floor of the Lucille on Roosevelt, Seven Starlings Workloft is a distinctive coworking space uniting a practical amenity with the beauty of natural forms. The space’s unique presence evolved through an intimate design approach: a multidisciplinary team collaborating on brand identity and interior design from concept to project delivery. This integrated design process married not only form and function, but look and feel.

Often, a new business develops its brand identity in advance of designing its brick-and-mortar location. This was a rare opportunity where the business plan and empty space came first, enabling us to develop the entire brand identity (even the name) concurrently with the interior design to create a cohesive, immersive experience.

Board & Vellum’s integrated architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture team was also behind the design of the Lucille on Roosevelt, so we were intimately familiar with the building’s underpinning design concept: an appreciation of the natural beauty and spirit of the Pacific Northwest, celebrating human interaction with natural spaces.

To create a conceptual link between the larger building and the smaller space within, the concept for the coworking space expresses this same appreciation of beauty in nature, in this case, inspired by emergent behavior of organic forms in nature itself.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Connection to the Lucille

Entering from the lobby of the Lucille offers a slightly elevated view into the space. This second entrance allows apartment residents to access the coworking space without leaving the building. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Connection to the Lucille

Entering from the lobby of the Lucille offers a slightly elevated view into the space. This second entrance allows apartment residents to access the coworking space without leaving the building. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Sheltered Booth Seating

Comfortable booths tucked under the mezzanine benefit from a beautiful-yet-calm accent wall of acoustic felt. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Sheltered Booth Seating

Comfortable booths tucked under the mezzanine benefit from a beautiful-yet-calm accent wall of acoustic felt. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Murmuration Mural

The twists and turns of a murmuration mural by Pacific Northwest artist, Kate Zessel, rise up the wall of the double-height space, disappearing over the mezzanine. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Murmuration Mural

The twists and turns of a murmuration mural by Pacific Northwest artist, Kate Zessel, rise up the wall of the double-height space, disappearing over the mezzanine. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Early ideation for the brand and interiors centered on an umbrella concept of biomimicry and emergence, later narrowed to an underpinning conceptual idea of “Swarming & Dissipating” forms and organisms in nature.

We examined how this concept intersected with the practical function of the space through curated imagery aligning representations of texture, pattern, and color in the natural world, with complementary corollaries in the built environment. This visually intensive process not only inspired design iteration, but provided interpretive, relatable context for a “heady” conceptual theme.

By exploring how variation in sensory input impacted the overall feel of a space, we projected how the future space would passively impact the mood and behavior of its users through the sensory experience of inhabiting it. Grounding this visualization in reality, we developed keyed plans to help the client imagine concepts applied to specific areas and aspects of the empty space.

Through this exploration, we began to conceptualize the swarming and dissipation of animal groupings as an analogy for the act of coworking. From plankton blooms comprised of creatures numbering in the billions, to mere handfuls of larger animals gathering seasonally — animal groupings are dynamic, supportive, and constantly adapting to changing contexts. In a coworking space, the same is true: users of the space are individuals, but they join together to thrive in a shared location.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Integrated Branding & Interiors Concept Package

Our first major design presentation featured a series of image vignettes exploring how the conceptual ideas could be applied to physical spaces. Seven Starlings Workloft

Integrated Branding & Interiors Concept Package

Our first major design presentation featured a series of image vignettes exploring how the conceptual ideas could be applied to physical spaces. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Integrated Branding & Interiors Concept Package

Images keyed to the space’s floor plan illustrate how potential interpretations of the concept could be applied to the actual space. Seven Starlings Workloft

Integrated Branding & Interiors Concept Package

Images keyed to the space’s floor plan illustrate how potential interpretations of the concept could be applied to the actual space. Seven Starlings Workloft

We explored this concept in different modules, repeated at varying densities and scales to create complementary patterns and textures. Incarnations of these swarming and dissipating forms — both geometric and organic — appear throughout the finished space, from the statement mural to the tiled kitchen backsplash, to the custom wood slatting wrapping around the mezzanine.

The meticulous regulation of the wood slats transforms the many individual pieces into a single whole, boldly accenting the upper level’s form. However, as the wood slats reach the nook of booth seating, the regulation dissipates. The perforated areas offer privacy paired with a hint of a view, allowing dappled light to grace the sheltered seating area.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Bringing the Comforts of Home to Work

Varied textural soft goods, like blankets and throw pillows, help imbue the space with a homey feel. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Bringing the Comforts of Home to Work

Varied textural soft goods, like blankets and throw pillows, help imbue the space with a homey feel. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Abundant Natural Light

With a wall of glass, the space is never short on natural light, but in the morning, direct sun reaches deep into the lower level, bathing it in warmth. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Abundant Natural Light

With a wall of glass, the space is never short on natural light, but in the morning, direct sun reaches deep into the lower level, bathing it in warmth. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Varied Seating

From couches to booths to desks with lockable storage, there’s somewhere to sit for each mood or each work mode. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Varied Seating

From couches to booths to desks with lockable storage, there’s somewhere to sit for each mood or each work mode. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Complementary Offsets

The textural, hard lines of the wood screen complement the adjacent organic forms of the bird mural and the felt wall. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Complementary Offsets

The textural, hard lines of the wood screen complement the adjacent organic forms of the bird mural and the felt wall. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Wood Screen Details

Designing and constructing the wood screen required careful detailing and precise carpentry. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Wood Screen Details

Designing and constructing the wood screen required careful detailing and precise carpentry. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Filtered Views

The openings in the wood slatting let in filtered light, and offer peeks to the lounge and front entrance. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Filtered Views

The openings in the wood slatting let in filtered light, and offer peeks to the lounge and front entrance. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A coworking space must meet a diverse set of needs — from quiet spaces for focus to collaborative spaces for chance or intentional engagement. At the street level, the space is designed for activity, while rising into the mezzanine provides increasing levels of privacy, with sound-secured phone booths tucked into the very back corner. Banks of desks (separated by charming strips of live indoor plants) provide a more secluded, heads-down workspace that doesn’t feel completely shut off from the buzz of the livelier lower floor.

On the central floor, another group of desks offers assigned seating with lockable storage. Meanwhile, café tables along the windows please those seeking a shorter dose of a more bustling environment. Diner-style booths, couches, and plush chairs fill out a menu of more laid-back seating options. A shared kitchen with a communal table provides a casual space for conversation. Private meeting rooms and lockers ensure both day-pass guests and regular coworkers have just what they need for a productive day.

Beyond the public-to-private gradation of space within Seven Starlings, the space as a whole serves an interesting role as a connection between the public and private realms within the larger building. A key feature (developed long before we knew it would be a coworking space) is an immense folding glass wall, blending the interior and exterior spaces.

Not only does it link the interior to public spaces, like the sidewalk and street, but to transitional spaces, like the passageway of the Lucille and the popular covered patio and fire pit of Armistice Coffee.

Scattered artfully above the passageway, the light installation of the Lucille — though it came first — is a visual partner to the flowing starlings of the mural rising along Seven Starling’s accent wall.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Café Tables with a View

Whether the massive folding glass wall is open or closed, seating along the edge of the space overlooks the lush green plantings of the patio at Armistice Coffee. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Café Tables with a View

Whether the massive folding glass wall is open or closed, seating along the edge of the space overlooks the lush green plantings of the patio at Armistice Coffee. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Art & Accessories

The interiors team selected not only all finishes, fixtures, and equipment for the space, but also a collection of coordinated art and accessories. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Art & Accessories

The interiors team selected not only all finishes, fixtures, and equipment for the space, but also a collection of coordinated art and accessories. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Lobby Lounge

Off the main street entrance, a lounge area provides a transitional space with comfortable seating for visitors and members. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Lobby Lounge

Off the main street entrance, a lounge area provides a transitional space with comfortable seating for visitors and members. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Tile Backsplash

Groupings of small tiles cluster toward the sink, reflecting the underlying concept of Swarming and Dissipating. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Tile Backsplash

Groupings of small tiles cluster toward the sink, reflecting the underlying concept of Swarming and Dissipating. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Distinctive Lighting

A playful light fixture over the kitchen table feels almost creature-like. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Distinctive Lighting

A playful light fixture over the kitchen table feels almost creature-like. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Communal Table

A large kitchen table invites casual lunch conversations with others. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Communal Table

A large kitchen table invites casual lunch conversations with others. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Letting the Light In

The translucent walls of a small conference room provide privacy without eliminating natural light or making the small space feel limited to its own walls. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Letting the Light In

The translucent walls of a small conference room provide privacy without eliminating natural light or making the small space feel limited to its own walls. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Saving Space for Where It’s Needed

A sliding door provides acoustic isolation when needed, without taking up excess floor space for a door swing. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Saving Space for Where It’s Needed

A sliding door provides acoustic isolation when needed, without taking up excess floor space for a door swing. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Live Plant Partitions

Lush plantings provide some separation and privacy between desks, while introducing living elements from the natural world. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Live Plant Partitions

Lush plantings provide some separation and privacy between desks, while introducing living elements from the natural world. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Phone Booths

Personal booths with desk space offer acoustic isolation for phone or video calls, or simply a quiet spot to focus. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Phone Booths

Personal booths with desk space offer acoustic isolation for phone or video calls, or simply a quiet spot to focus. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Attention to the Ceiling Plane

To keep more height in the space, there is no dropped ceiling. Instead, the mechanical infrastructure and concrete slab of the building remain exposed. With every surface painted a deep blue-green, the space feels calm and cohesive from floor to ceiling. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Attention to the Ceiling Plane

To keep more height in the space, there is no dropped ceiling. Instead, the mechanical infrastructure and concrete slab of the building remain exposed. With every surface painted a deep blue-green, the space feels calm and cohesive from floor to ceiling. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

As the design concept evolved, we paired the conceptual with the analytical, breaking down the functional components of existing coworking spaces’ names, evaluating the business cases for various naming styles in competing markets. We presented several naming concepts paired with early color palette ideas, sketches, and available digital properties.

Of the many examples of swarming and dissipating animal groupings in nature, the smooth dynamism of large flocks of starlings, known as murmurations, delighted and fascinated us. Like a school of fish, the massive collection of individuals moves as a superorganism.

Through computer modeling, research proves these mesmerizing phenomena require only three rules to function. Rule 1: Fly at the same speed (don’t crowd each other). Rule 2: Stay close to your neighbors (if they turn, you turn). Rule 3: Avoid predators (if you see one, turn away).

Each bird in a murmuration must only follow these three simple rules for the murmuration to flow beautifully through the air. To succeed, each bird must keep track of its seven closest neighbors. One bird, three rules, seven neighbors, and the system works — just like a single person joining others in a coworking space, engaging in a community, and finding success in their endeavors. Though coworking spaces are often used by individuals, when those users engage in the work of their peers, the cross-pollination of ideas elevates all. Thus, the Seven Starlings brand identity took flight — a subtle encouragement to coworking space users to open their eyes and minds to those with whom they share the space.

In early logo sketches, we explored how a single bird in flight might form the shape of the number seven. Through iterative sketches, the swooping shape of a starling murmuration evolved into a wing-like “S” form. Repeated at varying scales, the compilation of forms composes the emergent shape of a single starling in flight. The single bird’s upper wing features three feather tips, with the whole taking the shape of the number seven: one bird, three rules, seven neighbors.

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Logo Design Process

Early sketches explored how a bird in flight could also look like the number seven, and other design considerations. Seven Starlings Workloft

Logo Design Process

Early sketches explored how a bird in flight could also look like the number seven, and other design considerations. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Logo Design Process

The logo is inspired by the forms of murmurations, the “S” of seven and starling, and the functional rules of the murmurations themselves. Seven Starlings Workloft

Logo Design Process

The logo is inspired by the forms of murmurations, the “S” of seven and starling, and the functional rules of the murmurations themselves. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Logo Design Process

Behind each component shape of the logo is the suggested context of a starling murmuration. Seven Starlings Workloft

Logo Design Process

Behind each component shape of the logo is the suggested context of a starling murmuration. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Logo Design Process

Using different scales, rotational angles and flips, a layering of the single form composes each curve of the logo. Seven Starlings Workloft

Logo Design Process

Using different scales, rotational angles and flips, a layering of the single form composes each curve of the logo. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Logo Design Process

Masking off a form needed only for the tip of the beak, reveals the full form of the logo. Seven Starlings Workloft

Logo Design Process

Masking off a form needed only for the tip of the beak, reveals the full form of the logo. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Finalized Seven Starlings Logomark

A single bird in flight, reflecting the form of the number seven, with a nod to the three rules defining how murmurations function. Seven Starlings Workloft

Finalized Seven Starlings Logomark

A single bird in flight, reflecting the form of the number seven, with a nod to the three rules defining how murmurations function. Seven Starlings Workloft

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum

A Suite of Logos

The opportunity for brand exposure in the modern world is expansive and diverse, in varied digital and physical contexts. With two full logo lockups — “display” for opportunities with plenty of space, and “compact” for small spaces such as the header in mobile apps — along with a logomark, wordmark, and circular stencil, creative opportunities for Seven Starlings brand exposure abound.

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity – Board & Vellum

A Lively Graphic Element Hinting at the Idea of Motion

When seven of the starling logomarks are arrayed in a circle, the result becomes an icon itself. The circular icon may be used either digitally or physically. When used in a digital context, it could be animated to spin around the centerpoint, such as for a loading icon on a website. In physical form, it could be a vinyl decal on a window or wall, or a super-sized graphic that may bend over walls or floors, adding an abstract, graphic dynamism to the space.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
A Dynamic Illustrated Mural

The intricately detailed illustrations of birds by artist Kate Zessel crest the mezzanine and pass by the counter seating, continuing deep into the space. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A Dynamic Illustrated Mural

The intricately detailed illustrations of birds by artist Kate Zessel crest the mezzanine and pass by the counter seating, continuing deep into the space. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & VellumSeven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity - Board & Vellum
Seven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity – Board & VellumSeven Starlings Workloft Brand Identity – Board & Vellum

Just as the interior design of a space requires both abstract and deeply technical phases, the scope of brand identity work shifts from broad concept to intricate detail to create brand assets and guidelines.

The initial asset package for Seven Starlings includes an extensive logo suite, primary and secondary color palettes, a pair of typefaces, and a collection of graphic elements. Supporting the assets, we developed comprehensive Brand Guidelines — the rulebook for how the brand maintains and expresses its identity.

Seven Starlings retains its unique character thanks to the deep intertwinement of brand identity and interiors. This holistic and deeply integrated approach to brand and interior design balances beauty and function in the space, anchored with an authentic brand identity inspiring members to collaborate and support each other in their shared community.

Seven Starlings Workloft – Board & Vellum
Folding Window Wall

With the entire length of the window wall open, fresh air flows into the space as the indoors and outdoors merge. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Folding Window Wall

With the entire length of the window wall open, fresh air flows into the space as the indoors and outdoors merge. Seven Starlings Workloft | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Notes & Credits
This project was built by W.G. Clark.
Starling murmuration mural by Kate Zessel.
Loci lighting installation in the Lucille passageway by Graypants.
Photography by Andrew Giammarco.

Check out Seven Starlings in person at the Lucille on Roosevelt.

Want to learn more?

You’re welcome to take a look at our available services and other portfolio projects.

Services

Our design services encompass architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. From single-family homes to multifamily mixed-use buildings, and from boutique commercial spaces to civic spaces like parks, we love designing the integrated fabric of structures, spaces, and places that create vibrant neighborhoods. Large or small, we would love to collaborate with you on a project you love.

Portfolio

Our portfolio of work spans across a spectrum of project types and scales. We don’t have a particular “style” either: we love traditional, modern, contemporary, you name it. Our goal is to work with you to design a project you love.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

Get in touch.