Designer, Construction Administrator; with Rapt Studio
A new 250K sf headquarters for Ancestry.com in Lehi, Utah.

This space reflects Ancestry’s core principles back to its community. Each element of the new headquarters is designed to make the work of the company and the important social connections it fosters more present and more experiential. The aim throughout is to root the abstractions of regional migration, genealogy, genetics, and data in familiar objects present in the space. Color is used throughout the building as a way of signaling and celebrating global diversity in the same way that a migration map signals shared heritage.

In the lobby, a multi-colored dimensional graph represents the diverse historical backgrounds of different populations, indicating fifteen principal ancestries with fifteen principal colors. Each sampled population (for example, those currently living in West Africa) is portrayed in a single column, with the various colors that make up that column expressing the group’s many ancestries. Colors repeated between columns imply shared lineages, promoting a reading of inclusive global heritage.

In the café, the plate installation, communal long table, and window to the fire of the pizza oven recall familial gatherings like a Sunday Dinner at Grandma’s house as much as a healthy lunch with co-workers. The plates recall prized heirlooms and reflect the wide variety of backgrounds and global traditions that all embrace the shared experience of eating.

At the central stair, the light installation is comprised of cardboard globes that swirl up the well of the central stair connecting three floors, loosely suggesting the distributed linearity of a timeline, a family tree, or a double helix. The humble material properties are elevated in context by the twinkling light as the pieces shift and move.