This publisher’s headquarters may be more fun than a theme park

Some of us travel far and wide in search of our childhood fantasies. Whether it’s a trip to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a splash of Butterbeer and a ride on the Hogwarts Express, or a vacation aboard a cruise line with our favorite Disney characters, there’s an entire industry dedicated to making things of play into a reality for kids and kids-at-heart.

But for employees at one major publishing company, there’s no need to stray beyond their offices for a chance at magic and wonder. Scholastic, the world’s leading educational and children’s book publisher, has commissioned a redesign of its New York headquarters. The result is a workplace where Harry Potter, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Captain Underpants and other family favorites come to life on the walls.

Conceived of by Paula Scher, a partner at design studio Pentagram, the stunning space in lower Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood appears as less of an office and more of an art gallery. Some of the highlights:

  • A painted glass ceiling replicating the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” book cover
  • A front desk made of magically suspended tomes
  • 15,000 wooden dowels that come together to form our favorite magic school bus
  • 7-foot-tall murals of Clifford made with fur for petting
  • A massive Captain Underpants smashing through a stairwell
  • A pop art-style homage to Dog Man and Cat Kid

The redesigned space pays tribute to almost 100 years of Scholastic’s existence — the company will celebrate a century of publishing in 2020.

Perhaps if all offices were as fun- and joy-filled as this one, employees would not be so keen to work remotely. After all, who wouldn’t want to go to a cafeteria named Clifford’s for everyone’s favorite imaginary friend? Or wait for an elevator with those iconic glasses of The Boy Who Lived staring back at them?

Every day, people at Scholastic get to work alongside their favorite characters, whom they’ve helped to create and sustain. I can’t think of anything cooler than that.