Project Spotlight: 23andMe


About the same time that South Bay Construction completed an office tenant improvement (TI) job involving a four-story, 67,000-square-foot building in Mountain View for the leading personal genetics company, 23andMe (June 2015), 23andMe reached a major milestone in its business: it had genotyped more than one million people worldwide!

23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their DNA. All of the laboratory testing for 23andMe is done at a certified and accredited laboratory in the United States. The company’s Mountain View headquarters houses its executive, marketing and administrative staff plus scientists and research professionals.




Founded in 2006, the company is growing and its new headquarters has a built-in feature to accommodate its growth; namely, office space on the first and second floors was carved out to sublet to other office-type occupiers on a short-term basis so that one day 23andMe can utilize the entire building.

One of the most challenging aspects of the TI project was that South Bay Construction (SBC) had a defined budget to stay within while conforming to the ultra-high end design features specified by the project architect. The most prominent features of 23andMe’s interiors are polished concrete floors, open ceilings and on floors three and four, floor-to-ceiling glass walls in ten rooms that are 3/8th of an inch thick. Inside these rooms SBC installed numerous marker boards made from Starphire glass for staff to share ideas in a collaborative yet quiet environment.




To offset the potentially “cool” interiors due to all the concrete and glass, wood and reclaimed wood products were installed in the entrance lobby, where Armstrong WoodWorks Grille panels with incorporated lighting were installed on the ceilings. Additionally, the company breakroom and cafeteria received wood paneling with an olive-ash veneer finish made by the architectural millwork company Mission Bell, while up the fourth floor, the conference room was trimmed with reclaimed barn wood. The conference room, where 23andMe’s executive board meets, is a space designed with warmth and comfort. The building also has an amazing rooftop deck that offers stunning views of Silicon Valley.




As a Silicon Valley construction company, the most rewarding part of the job was that they delivered on the promise of getting one of the Valley’s rising tech stars into their biggest office space in the company’s young history. The space itself is light, bright and inspiring. SBC pulled it off with fantastic team work and input at all levels, from the client to the architect and construction manager to all of the subcontractors involved in 23andMe’s interior buildout.

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