Undaunted by its languishing share price, Facebook has announced plans for a huge expansion of its Menlo park headquarters, to be designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry.
Housing 2,800 engineers, the building will include what’s claimed to be the largest open-plan office in the world – 420,000 square feet, or a mind-blowing ten acres. It will be linked to the existing offices by an underground tunnel.
“At every step of planning the new building, Frank has taken into account our engineering culture. It will be a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse,” says the company’s environmental design manager Everett Katigbak.
“Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects. There will be cafes and lots of micro-kitchens with snacks so that you never have to go hungry. And we’ll fill the building with break-away spaces with couches and whiteboards to make getting away from your desk easy.”
Facebook bought the new site in February last year from Sun Microsystems. Katigbak says the exterior will blend in with its surroundings, with ‘a ton’ of trees covering the roof, as well as in the grounds.
“From the outside it will appear as if you’re looking at a hill in nature,” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook page.
The new building will be in similar ‘unfinished’ style to Gehry’s previous works. The Canadian-born architect is probably most famous for
the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, as well as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and MIT’s Stata Center.
Construction is due to begin early next year.