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ChatGPT’s San Francisco offices getting nap rooms, a museum for staffers

The exterior of OpenAI at 575 Florida St. in San Francisco on Dec. 5, 2022. | Source: Matthew Kupfer/The Standard

OpenAI, the company behind the ever-evolving AI chatbot ChatGPT, has been closed off about its new headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission District so far. 

The Standard attempted to access the offices in December after learning of the then-unpublicized workspace and made it as far as the lobby front desk before being whisked away by security.

But documents filed with San Francisco’s Planning Department now provide a rare insight into the company’s secretive offices, which include nap rooms and space for art installations and demonstrations.

According to the documents, the company began filing planning permits with the city in mid-2021 to renovate the over 30,000 square feet of space, and the $10 million renovations were complete as of February 2023. 

Floor plan of the Bryant Street building showing the gallery, recording and demo spaces. | Source: Eaton Hall Architects/SF Planning Department

The new headquarters joins together two adjacent buildings on 575 Florida St. and 1960 Bryant St., just a few blocks away from its previous office on 18th Street.

Based on illustrated floor plans in the planning documents, the Florida Street space houses OpenAI’s main offices, which feature an open floor plan equipped with nap rooms, micro kitchens, a two-floor library and an indoor “walk in the park” space.

READ MORE: ChatGPT Creator Sam Altman Tells San Francisco Crowd He Can’t be Trusted

Adding to its mystique, the building will be classified as a laboratory space for planning purposes. SF Zoning Administrator Corey Teague noted in planning documents the building is “primarily suitable for scientific research,” distinguishing it from office or manufacturing use.

OpenAI filed a permit to change the use of the adjoining Bryant Street building from a “light manufacturing” to “arts activity” space in June 2022: The unit will include a museum gallery hall, recording studio and demo area. It’s unclear what the specific uses of the studio and demo space are.

The new headquarters was designed by San Jose-based Eaton Hall Architecture, which also worked with Tesla to craft its office campus.

OpenAI has not released images and renderings of the new improvements and did not respond to requests for comment by publication time. The practice of tech workers sleeping at their offices is nothing new in San Francisco, with artificial intelligence coders establishing communal living hacker houses in Hayes Valley, giving the neighborhood the moniker of “Cerebral Valley.” Twitter made headlines in December 2022 after city inspectors discovered unsanctioned beds at its Market Street headquarters.