Facebook + Frank Gehry

/ via Bloomberg

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. 

Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg

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.”

Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg

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.

Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg

“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.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Facebook + Frank Gehry" 27 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=267366>

10 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    i can appreciate the “collaborative work environment” idea… but how do you get from one end to the other without sidestepping about a thousand desks each time? or is that the whole point?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +16

    They should have done an international design contest instead of just going with Genry

    • Thumb up Thumb down +3

      Sure, a competition, so the client gets thousands of architects’ working hours for free. and then we ask ourselves why are we in the current situation.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Yeah, and it will be well designed for sure, because of pressure and competition. Maybe Mark just wanted a big name for this.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Z is a “creative technical master” and Gehry is a “83 year old architect”, come on, there is only one master in that room, give the guy some respect.

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