Petuum / Perkins Eastman


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The interior fit-out for this progressive, tech start-up specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence accommodates the company’s anticipated growth. The program combines a flexible mix of open plan workspace, private offices, a central pantry, gaming area, and collaborative spaces. Petuum’s CEO is a computer science professor, so given his “day job” in academia, his goal was to create a space that performed in a similar way. To that end, the design supports dual functions―one that bolsters a creative and aspirational culture with enormous business ambition and potential, and replicates the collaborative nature of academia. This approach also enhances the company’s recruitment and retention efforts by helping them to obtain the top talent necessary to focus on deploying its product in industries with high AI potential that may be slow to adopt the technology.

The design delivers a high-performing workplace with areas for heads-down work, collaboration, and “town hall” style meetings, while maintaining visual transparency throughout. Collaboration zones feature soft seating and writeable surfaces. A refined palette of carpeting, millwork, and sleek lighting fixtures complement and provide architectural contrast to the raw, existing building elements―exposed infrastructure, slab, and structural elements, and finished concrete flooring—a nod to the city’s industrial roots.

Since moving into its new office, Petuum’s growth has accelerated. Fortunately the space affords the company a level of flexibility. Within six months of completing this project, Perkins Eastman was asked to design an expansion in an adjacent space.