The words “cybersecurity firm” might bring to mind dimly lit cubicle farms, with rows of hoodie-clad programmers battling hackers in dark corners of the Internet.
That is not the vibe Rapid7 is going for.
The fast-growing cybersecurity firm recently opened its new corporate headquarters in a just-opened building atop North Station. The place is bright and light, with big windows and a four-story atrium. There’s a barista-staffed coffee bar, a “speakeasy” for Friday afternoon beers, and murals of Freddie Mercury and famed NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.
Also moose. A lot of moose.
We’ll come back to the moose. But from the moment you walk in the door, it’s clear Rapid7’s headquarters was designed to bring a fun, creative spin to what can be a very serious business.
“Absolutely,” said chief executive Corey Thomas. “Sometimes serious problems require creative minds. That’s what we’re nurturing here, and that’s part of our DNA.”
It shows up in the way the conference and huddle rooms are named not just for Boston landmarks (on the fourth floor) or famous scientists (on the sixth), but decorated with a “data representation” of their namesake, like art in the J.K. Rowling room that depicts the movements of Harry Potter’s wand as he casts various spells.
The fun element shows up, too, in the design of the place, like the huge kitchen and snack bar meant to lure workers away from their desks to mingle when it’s time to eat, and the central staircase, which doubles as a standing section for all-hands meetings.
And, yes, it shows up in the seven-foot wooden statue of a moose in the lobby, one of many manifestations of Rapid7’s unofficial corporate mascot.
“Two of our salespeople came up with it. The singular of the word moose is moose. The plural of the word moose is also moose. We are all one moose,” said Christina Luconi, Rapid7’s chief people officer, as she sits on a conference room couch while holding a stuffed moose.
“I don’t think anyone back then thought it would have legs. But now we have them everywhere.”
To be clear, for all the loosey-mooseyness, Rapid7 is a secure facility. Visitors are made to sign a nondisclosure agreement at the front desk. Several employees were careful to shield their laptop screens from a visiting photographer. The actual work spaces are behind doors that require an extra ID card for entry.
But in Boston’s fiercely competitive market for tech talent, Rapid7 wants to make clear that it’s a friendly place to work.
The new office, Luconi said, is key to that.
“Our space is the physical manifestation of our culture,” she said.
It’s also a way to bring the company under one roof.
As it has grown in recent years, Rapid7 has openedoffices in and around Boston — one in Kendall Square in Cambridge and one at 100 Summer St., where the company was an early pioneer in the Financial District’s tech boom.
For its new headquarters, the company wanted to consolidate in one place, without having either the Cambridge or Boston office give up too much of its identity in the move. So it landed in the middle, leasing four floors at the new Hub on Causeway complex on top of North Station, 147,000 square feet in all.
“We were merging two offices,” Thomas said. “We wanted to create a place where everyone felt like they were winning. For that, you really needed a blank slate.”
By signing a lease in the early stages of construction, Rapid7 was able to have more say over the look and feel of its space, including the costly decision to cut that four-story atrium through the middle of it. It also alllowed for room to grow.
Rapid7’s new office is in the lower floors of the Hub on Causeway, the so-called podium of the complex atop North Station. Last month, though, it signed a lease for two more floors in the tower that’s now under construction above it, just an elevator ride away. When that’s done, in a couple of years, Rapid7 will have more than 214,000 square feet of space, with room for hundreds more workers than it has today.
It’s been a heady run for the company, which went public in 2015. Having a high-profile office — with signage that will be visible from the nearby Zakim Bridge — sends a clear signal that Rapid7 has arrived, Luconi said.
“But we’re kind of only at the beginning,” she said. “We have to earn this space now.”