A new smartphone isn’t the only Facebook news making headlines, as the social media giant has received the green light from the Menlo Park City Council to move forward with their headquarter’s expansion on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, California. The approved plans are a slightly toned down version of architect Frank Gehry’s original proposal, as the flamboyant butterfly-like wings which flared from each end of the 433,555-square-foot building have been removed.
“They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of the culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous,” stated Craig Webb, Gehry’s creative partner. “Frank (Gehry) was quite willing to tone down some of the expression of architecture in the building.”
After a 4-0 vote secured approval, Mayor Peter Ohtaki asked: “Where’s the ‘Like’ button?”
More after the break…
Departing from Gehry’s signature curves, the exceptionally long, 10-acre “room” will stretch across the 22-acre West Campus site and connect to the company’s current headquarters via an underground tunnel beneath the Bayfront Expressway. Upon completion, the white stucco structure will be camouflaged by lush landscaping and a dominate rooftop park. Ranging in height from 45 feet to 73 feet, the building will rise above surface-level parking and almost appear as a “hillside” from a distance.
Wired offered this interesting perspective on the design: “Facebook’s aversion to panache speaks to the company’s hacker ethos, which emphasizes functionality over form and, at its most insular, heads-down work over outside engagement and communication. In a way, Facebook’s “very anonymous” new building design is like Zuckerberg’s trademark outfit of gray hoodie, jeans and sneakers: an unassuming wrapper around a remarkably capable entity.”