At Counter Hack Challenges, we wanted an office that would intrigue and inspire, yet remain functional and fun.  We set out to create a space full of anachronisms, a portal into another space and time, a dimension of sound, of sight, and of mind.  But never too serious.  Here is what we came up with for our Imperial Headquarters (IHQ), tucked away above a garage in a nondescript house in the most beautiful state of the Union.

Click on the Play button on the right for appropriate musical accompaniment.

Feel free to view the tour in two ways:

    1) Simply scroll down this page for the detailed tour, clicking on the arrow at the end of
          each page to continue (click on any picture for a full-sized view), or

    2) Click on "Play Slideshow" below for just the highlights


Just Your Typical Office

Hmmm... an ascending staircase.  Where does it lead?  What's that strange device in front of the window?

A static electricity generator, an invention of Robert J. Van de Graaff.  How quaint!

Half-way up the steps, we turn to our left, getting an initial glimpse of what we have in store.  We faintly see an archway over the entrance into a room at the top of the steps.

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As we near the top of the stairway, we nervously look back.  We still see the Van de Graaff under a chained light fixture, as well as an armillary on our right.  We carefully note our escape route, just in case.  Perhaps we should have brought bread crumbs to mark our way out.

On your right, our portal opens...

A staircase, ascending, with a Van de Graaff generator

Yes, I said Van de Graaff generator (350,000 volts)

A turn to the left...  We continue up the steps

Looking back down the steps... There is still time to turn away

As we begin our adventure, our tour guide asks: Are you familiar with the design aesthetic called "steampunk"?  If not... imagine that the technologies of the 1880's through 1912 (the Victorian and Edwardian Eras) didn't end, but instead continued to our very day.  What would it look like? 

We took our inspiration from Thomas Edison's Lab, Nikola Tesla's visions, Sherlock Holmes, Scooby Doo, the Addam's Family, and more.  But, we didn't want to scare the kiddies. Make it fun and not a freak show, we insisted.  Combine a nice Victorian Library and a Mad Scientist's Lab, all wrapped together in an above-ground lair, and what do you get?

Outside... a nondescript door

When some people think of steampunk, they picture a patina of age and dust. Our vision differed.  We wanted something shiny and brand new... but teleported directly from the 1880's.

On your right, what's that?  A door has opened.  But, this portal looks very different on the other side...

Let's see where this rabbit hole goes, Alice.

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