Case Study: Vans HQ by Rapt Studios

Project: Vans Headquarters
Designer: Rapt Studio
Specifying Rep: Simone Linn
Specified Manufacture: Barn Light
Specified Product: Original™ Warehouse LED Pendants
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Photos by: Eric Laignel


When founders of the iconic skateboard shoe brand, Vans, were looking for a larger space for their company headquarters, they found themselves back where it all started. Founders Paul and Jim Van Doren opened their first Vans store in Costa Mesa, CA in 1966, “Having the location in Costa Mesa is special,” Cheryl Van Doren said. “It’s fun to be back in our old stomping grounds, and I am really proud to bring our amazing company into a great city like Costa Mesa. We are looking forward to being a part of the community.”

A brand synonymous for creativity and self-expression, the brothers wanted their new Costa Mesa HQ to embody the brand’s mission in look and feel.

They hired Rapt Studio for the warehouse remodel. Rapt incorporated elements of self-expression, utility and the brand’s 50+ year history. With a skateboard conference room, street art in the hallways and common areas and the essentials: gym, jam rooms for playing music, fully equipped BBQ area along with an on-site barista.

Notably, the designer incorporated elements of green design, making the Southern California mega-campus certified Platinum LEED, the first of its kind in Orange County. In addition to over 4,000 solar panels that provide more than 90 per cent of required electricity for LEED certification, Rapt Studio needed to source LED lighting. They decided on Barn Light’s Original™ Warehouse LED Pendants because not only did they meet LEED requirements, they enhanced the original warehouse feel of the space. “These fit the ‘old skool’ nature of Vans,” Tim Long, building operations and facilities manager, notes. “They harken back to earlier times, to the 1960s warehouse look that was prevalent here in Orange County.”