04/28/2023 | by
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Kilroy Realty’s Bianca Doerschlag

Bianca Doerschlag, senior vice president, design at Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC), oversees the architectural design of the REIT’s entire portfolio, spanning Washington, California, and Texas. She joined Kilroy in 2017 as a designer and was promoted twice before taking on her current role in July 2022. Doerschlag is a third-generation designer—her grandfather and father are both architects.

How would you describe the Kilroy design ethos, and what are some of the key goals you want to achieve?

Kilroy prioritizes design as one of its core business values. As long-term owners and operators, we believe that great design is the platform for exceptional tenant experience, smarter building operations, and a longer building life.

In our work, we aspire to create strong property narratives that reinforce the local uniqueness in each of our regions. We strive for individual property character and unite our properties across the portfolio through quality. As a tenant, we hope that you walk into a Kilroy property and are greeted by inspiring spaces and sensory familiarity that continues to excite day after day.

What attracted you to this career and where do you draw inspiration for your own design ideas?

Coming from an architectural background, I was attracted to this position for the opportunity to weigh in on the impact of design as a factor in greater business decisions. At Kilroy, I have a seat at the table as a component in the success of our properties. Part of my job is to work with the greater team on setting initial direction for our consultant teams and partners.

When crafting these narratives, I draw inspiration from local surroundings and my own day-to-day interactions. When we talk about design it is sensory. We ask questions about sight, smell, audio, and touch. It is also archival. Weare constantly leaning into past learnings whether at the scale of a masterplan or the detail of a curtain. Design is always collaborative, which brings new energy and keeps things moving.

Are there certain projects you have been involved in at Kilroy that are particularly meaningful?

I started at Kilroy right as the team was working through the masterplan for our Kilroy Oyster Point development in South San Francisco. The project is a five-phase, 50-acre life science campus. Kilroy Oyster Point was my first exposure into the life science market and a unique one at that. The site of the project features a mile of coastline and direct connection to the Bay Trail (eventually 500 miles of connected trail around the Bay).

From the beginning, we looked at the campus as an opportunity to lean into recreation and wellness and partnered with incredible consultants to bring the narrative to life. We were deep in the design development of phase two when the pandemic hit, and we decided to reinvigorate our campus with amenities that mirrored the outcomes. We leaned further into outdoor working environments, highly functioning collaboration, event areas, an incredible art program (with the help of DPA, our art consultants), and other onsite amenities. The process has been an intensive and highly imaginative exercise. Phase two of the campus is currently under construction, and we are watching the process come to life.

What are among the most innovative and exciting design trends that you think could play an important role in the years ahead?

With the constantly transforming notion of where and how we work, there is a lot of research around workplace space planning and office amenities. In my team’s work, we have started to explore notions of co-working amenities and integrating space planning needs for our day-to-day operations.

It is an interesting time that I think will yield one of the biggest transformations in work environments since the open office. Even more unique to this current workplace shift is the domino effect we are seeing in our residential towers. The lines of function are blurring, and we will have to figure out how to rebalance the workplace and the living space. We are constantly thinking about spaces as “like” home or “better than” home.