As we shared earlier, the world’s 28-year old creative technological master will team with 83-year-old starachitect for Facebook’s newest addition to their Menlo Park campus. The two, although worlds apart in terms of forte, find common ground in the never ending creative process, and the desire to continually push boundaries of the expected and the ordinary. As we noted in our previous piece, the building will offer a equalized sense of status – no private cubicles or showy corner offices – and encourage a collaborative work environment, admix a warm splash of colors, textures and natural lighting. Gone from the building will be Gehry’s flashy ways of manipulating sheets of metal, and the resulting superfluous sense of affluence often emitted from these grand structures. Rather, Gehry’s work for Facebook will offer an ”equalizier”, a massive one story warehouse measuring 420,000 sqf, to house the company’s future 2,800 engineers with the underlying intention of fostering a comfortable environment to allow Facebook to keep getting better. More about the newest headquarters after the break.
Working closely with the clients, Gehry has adjusted the rectangular design to make the building’s scale less intimidating. “We’ve got to give them a system that’s not precious, that they can manipulate,” Gehry told Bloomberg news. “We want it to work effortlessly…My goal is a kind of ephemeral connectivity that you can’t take a picture of.”
The building is also very sensitive to its surroundings, as the design integrates paths that will loop around the campus on the ground level, as well as across the massive green roof, offering a temporary escape to rid the mind of any creative blocks encountered while perfecting the world’s most widely used social media platform.
“We’ve paid just as much attention to the outside as well. The exterior takes into account the local architecture so that it fits in well with its surroundings. We’re planting a ton of trees on the grounds and more on the rooftop garden that spans the entire building. The raw, unfinished look of our buildings means we can construct them quickly and with a big emphasis on being eco-friendly,” added Everett Katigbak, Facebook’s Environmental Design Manager. Currently, Facebook’s campus occupies a 22-acre site that will be joined to Gehry’s building via an underground tunnel beneath the Bayfront Expressway. “His (Gehry’s) office is a giant warehouse overflowing with handmade, wooden models juxtaposed with state-of-the-art architecture software (some of which is designed by Frank’s in-house team). His teams are filled with people who are unbelievably talented and love what they do. The whole thing reminded me of Facebook, so that when I met Frank, I already knew he was a perfect fit for us,” added Katigbak. Construction is slated for 2013, and we will keep you updated on the design.