Inside the Hidden Hunting Lodge at Dyn
Just like every with-it 21st century company that is designing new office space, Dyn, a privately-held tech infrastructure firm in Manchester, New Hampshire, believes in openness. The management teams sits at cubicles like all of their colleagues. There’s a big open space where company meetings are held. There are glass-walled conference rooms and a wide, open staircase that connects the two floors of the rehabbed brick mill building that Dyn occupies.
But sometimes, explains chief technology officer Cory von Wallenstein, you need a little privacy. And you need a space that captures your company’s particular culture, which von Wallenstein describes as quirky and enigmatic. (The perks at the fast-growing company include Skee-Ball, a flight simulator, a rock climbing wall, and a certified farm-to-table company café.) So earlier this year, they asked the contractor who was expanding their 60,000 square foot headquarters to set up a secret retreat. What he came up with was a scaled-down version of a New Hampshire hunting lodge. But unlike the company’s other conference rooms, it can’t be reserved online. And you have to know how to find it: the entry is hidden in what looks like a run-of-the-mill server closet, and it only opens if you know the precise button to press.
Inside, there’s big game mounted on the walls, a faux fireplace, a coffee table, and a bar stocked with a dozen or so varieties of whiskey. It’s very much in the tradition of the hidden lounges at Pixar — a place for employees to step away from the typical office environment, chew over challenges, and blow off steam. Over tumblers of Lagavulin, von Wallenstein explains that prospective recruits feel like insiders when they’re brought into the cabin, “and it’s not a bad place to negotiate with vendors,” he says. It’s also regularly used for brainstorming sessions, and for unwinding at the end of a long day.