Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, has hired famed architect Frank Gehry to design a new campus headquarters outside of San Francisco Bay, California. When I last written about Mr. Gehry, I praised his vernacular-based design choice for a home in New Orleans as part of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right organization, breaking away from is signature jagged edge and curvature designs. For the Facebook headquarters expansion project, it seems that Gehry is again resisting temptation to place form over function, and is making both aspects work together 50/50. A tip of my hat and a thumbs up to you, Mr. Gehry.
Set to be located right across the highway from the current main headquarters (soon-to-be-called “Facebook East Campus”), the new campus (to-be-called “Facebook West Campus”) will offer typical luxurious accommodations to be expected from the modern office space of today. That includes — but is now limited to — a flexible and open floor plan, arcade-filled lounge areas, and a massive roof garden.
The 420,000 square foot facility included an enormous, ten-acre interior area (call it a “room,” if you’d like), which departs from Gehry’s trademark curvy designs, provides a “system that’s not precious, that they [Facebook] can manipulate.” The area includes a series of work benches that “line up in curving arcs like swarming fish”, aiming to organize the facility into “neighborhoods” that elegantly flow in-and-out of each space and encourage a collaborative working environment.
Whenever Facebook employees go on a break, they can venture out to any of the outdoor-terraced cafes for some sushi and barbecue, play arcade games in the lounge with their co-workers, or scale up a staircase to the beautiful roof garden to enjoy a nice escape from the office environment. Construction on the expansion to the Facebook headquarters is scheduled to start in Spring 2013.