Mark Zuckerberg Praises Frank Gehry: “He’s Very Efficient”

Early building model inside the completed . Image Image via Mark Zuckerberg

After Facebook began its move into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has praised his architect for his work. In a post on his personal Facebook page yesterday, Zuckerberg shares the story of how Gehry he initially turned down Gehry’s request to design the project, saying that “even though we all loved his architecture… We figured he would be very expensive and that would send the wrong signal about our culture.”

But Frank Gehry persisted, saying that he would match any bids the company received. As a result, Zuckerberg has now praised Gehry – in a somewhat uncharacteristic description of the architect – for being “very efficient.”

Read Zuckerberg’s full statement, after the break.

Facebook Moves into New Headquarters with the “Largest Open Floor Plan in the World”

Earlier today, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an announcement onto his own Facebook page that the company had moved into its brand new, 430,000-square foot Frank Gehry-designed headquarters. In the post, Zuckerberg offers a photo of the building from above, showing off its 9 acre green roof, with a promise of interior images – of what is essentially the building’s giant, single room – “once we’re fully unpacked.”

That interior, big enough for 2,800 of Facebook employees plus room for growth, also played host to some of Instagram’s most popular photographers to preview the space – see a selection of their images after the break.

Embed Your 3D Sketchfab Models on Facebook

Already one of the simplest ways to share 3-D models around the web, Sketchfab has recently announced a new development that will make it even easier for architecture firms to share their latest work with their fans and students to spread their ideas among their friends: Facebook embed functionality. Simply by pasting the link to your work in a Facebook post, your model is instantly accessible to your friends and fans, and easy to share.

ArchDaily’s Top 10 Facebook Posts

Over the past 14 months our Facebook fans have grown from 1 million to 1.5 million (), and as always our mission continues to be to post the best, latest and most relevant architecture news and projects. But, we couldn’t do it without your help (#thankyou). By liking, commenting and sharing our posts you’ve helped create a vibrant online community, spanning the globe. From the US to India, Brazil and Thailand, you (our fans) are constantly providing unique perspectives and cultural insight. When Frank Gehry lifted his finger and declared that 98% of everything that is built is pure shit, over 9,000 of you shared the post, more than 1,000 commented and as a result the post reached close to 3 million people worldwide.

To celebrate our new milestone on , we’ve rounded up the #Top10 Posts from the past 14 months, based on the number of people reached (as calculated by ). From World Cup-related architecture to undulating staircases see the Top 10 Posts after the break.

New Images of the Frank Gehry Facebook Campus Released

Design of Campus by Frank Gehry. Image Courtesy of Corporate Communications

After Facebook assumed the former Sun Microsystems complex in Palo Alto in 2011, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg set out to find an architect capable of handling a grand design for its main main building. Zuckerberg chose world famous architect Frank Gehry for the job (amid major concessions to the city of Palo Alto).

If he was looking for impact, Zuckerberg could have made no better choice. Gehry’s past designs have become renowned tourist attractions, like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. They are considered some of the most important works of contemporary architecture on the planet.

Photos of the Gehry model that will become Facebook’s new HQ have been floating around for a couple of years. But with the building slated for completion next year, Facebook provided these new, exclusive images to Business Insider of what the world can expect from Gehry’s latest design:

Could Facebook Help Us Understand Urban Migration?

plans to move 250 Million citizens into cities by 2025. Could help them in this endeavor?. Image © Flickr CC User Wenjie Zhang

According to this article on QuartzFacebook is now so widely-used (providing readily available information about the hometowns of millions – or even billions – of people) that it can help researchers analyze migration patterns and trends. Find out more here.

If Skyscrapers Predict Crises, What Do “Donuts” Tell Us?

Apple HQ (USA). Image © , ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple

In a recent article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote explores the ‘Skyscraper Index’, an informal term that suggests a correlation between the construction of a big company’s ambitious headquarters and subsequent financial crisis: “Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis.” Heathcote goes on to describe the latest generation of headquarters being constructed for our current, tech-oriented goliaths – like Apple‘s monolithic “donut”, by Foster + Partners, and Facebook‘s Gehry-designed Menlo Park campus - and wonders: “if skyscrapers can tell us something about the temperature of an overheating economy, what do these groundscraping new HQs say?” Read the full article here.

Frank Gehry to Design New York Office for Facebook

via TechCrunch

Shortly after winning approval on their -designed, Menlo Park headquarters in , Facebook has announced plans to once again commission the Los Angeles-based starchitect to design a new office for their New York City team. By early 2014, Gehry is expected to refurbish an existing 100,000 square-foot, two-story office space – nearly twice the size of their current home at 335 Madison Ave – on 770 Broadway. 

Frank Gehry’s Facebook HQ Wins Approval

© Gehry Partners LLP via City Council

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…

Frank Gehry designs Facebook HQ Expansion

© Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg (2)
Photo: /Gehry Partners via Bloomberg

Mark Zuckerberg, the 28-year-old co-founder of , has commissioned Frank Gehry to design a new campus headquarters on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, California. Located across the highway from Facebook East, the company’s current headquarters, Facebook West will provide every luxury expected from a modern office space, from a flexible open floor plan, to arcade-filled lounge areas and a massive roof garden.

The enormous, ten acre “room” breaks away from Gehry’s signature curves, and aims to provide a “system that’s not precious, that they [Facebook] can manipulate.” Work benches “line up in curving arcs like swarming fish”, organizing the 420,000 square foot facility into “neighborhoods” that softly flow into each other in an attempt to foster a collaborative, community-like environment.

When Facebook employees need a break, they can retreat to outdoor-terraced cafes for some sushi and barbecue, play arcade games in the lounge with their co-workers, or escape up a “twisting wooden stair” to the lush roof garden.

Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.

For more information, check out Bloomberg’s exclusive coverage here.

© Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg (1)
Photo: Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners via Bloomberg

Data Centers: Anti-Monuments of the Digital Age

375 Pearl, originally built in 1975 as a Telephone Communications building, was bought in 2011 to be repurposed as a Data Centers. The intimidating, unbroken facade is typical of a . Photo via Flickr CC User wallyg.

Your Macbook Air has come at a price. And I’m not talking about the $1,000 bucks you shelled out to buy it.

I’m talking about the cost of lightness. Because the dirty secret of the “Cloud” – that nebulous place where your data goes to live, thus freeing up your technological devices from all that weight – is its very physical counterpart.

Data Centers. Giant, whirring, power-guzzling behemoths of data storage – made of cables, servers, routers, tubes, coolers, and wires. As your devices get thinner, the insatiably hungry cloud, the data centers, get thicker.

So why are you struggling to picture one in your mind? Why do we have no idea what they look like? What they do? Where they are? Because Data Centers have been hidden away and, although carefully planned, intentionally “undesigned.” The goal is to make the architecture so technologically efficient, that the architecture becomes the machinery, and the machinery the architecture. In the words of author Andrew Blum, Data Centers are “anti-monuments” that ”declare their own unimportance.

But if architecture is the expression of our society’s values and beliefs, then what does this architectural obliteration mean? That we are willfully ignoring the process that creates the data we daily consume. As long as the internet works, who cares where it came from (or at what cost — and there is a considerable cost)?

So can design change our alienated relationship to our data? Should it? And if so, how?

The Next Silicon Valley(s)

AOL in Palo Alto by Studio O+A © Jasper Sanidad

HP, Apple, Google – they all found their success amongst the peach groves and Suburban houses of California. But why? What is it about Silicon Valley that makes it the site of technological innovation the world over?

It’s tempting to assume that the Valley’s success must be, at least in part, due to its design. But how does innovation prosper? What kind of environment does it require? In a recent interview with The Atlantic CitiesJonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, suggests that creativity is sparked from casual exchanges, the mingling of diversity, the constant interaction with the strange and new. In short, and as a recent study corroborates, innovation flourishes in dense metropolises.

Seemingly then, Silicon Valley, a sprawl of highways and office parks, has become a hotspot of creativity in spite of its design. But let’s not write off design just yet.

As technology makes location more and more irrelevant, many are looking to distill the magic of Silicon Valley and transplant it elsewhere. The key will be to design environments that can recreate the Valley’s culture of collaboration. The future Valleys of the world will be microsystems of creativity that imitate and utilize the structure of the city.

Top Architecture Offices Facebook Fan Pages

Here’s a ranking of architectural and their fans on . What do you think are the factors for this popularity?

Do you think maybe it’s people that respect and admire these architects, and it’s reflected on their fan pages?

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer tops the list. Do you think that at 103 years he knows he is the world leader in architects facebook fans?

Complete ranking and their fans:

1. Oscar Niemeyer / 228,850
2. Zaha Hadid / 216,231
3. Renzo Piano / 145,662
4. Santiago Calatrava / 143,821
5. Tadao Ando / 56,584
6. Peter Zumthor / 50,660
7. Herzog & de Meuron / 34,949
8. Jean Nouvel / 33,728
9. ALT arquitectura + obra / 29,381
10. OMA – Rem Koolhaas / 27,561
11. Bunker Arquitectura / 20,512
12. SANAA – Sejima & Nishizawa / 17,681
13. A-cero (Joaquín Torres) / 16,392
14. Toyo Ito / 15,500
15. Norman Foster / 13,012
16. Alvaro Siza / 11,431
17. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group / 9,360
18. Daniel Libeskind / 8,762
19. Peter Eisenman / 7,743
20. Richard Rogers / 7,703

Designers Participate in Hackathon for New Facebook Campus

When announced it was relocating its headquarters to the Sun Microsystems campus in the Menlo Park area there were many mixed emotions.  With bright eyed optimism  has approached the move as not just gaining much needed space for the growing company, but also as an opportunity to have a vested interest in the adjacent Belle Haven neighborhood.  Sun Microsystems is a 57-acre campus with 11 interconnected buildings complete with marshlands and the Bayshore Expressway as its borders; a clearly introverted campus and typical image of a stale tinted window office park.   however has set out to provide a more inspiring place for their employees (their former Palo Alto campus was nicknamed the Bunker).

Whether you call it a design charrette or in Facebook terms a hackathon, recently the AIA San Mateo and the city of Menlo Park gathered by the busloads over 150 architects, urban planners, and students along with local citizens for a 12-hour fast-paced collaborative design session to re-imagine the Menlo Park’s Belle Haven community.  Red, Yellow, Blue and Green teams of 20-40 people were given free rain to let their imaginations run wild, designers first toured the campus and surrounding community and then hunkered down to discuss how the local amenities could be improved, the fortress feel of the campus could be overcome, and how to thoughtfully connect the new headquarters with the outside world.

Facebook Fan Page: Celebrating our 100,000 fans!

One of last year's selected

Today, our Facebook Fan Page reached 100,000 fans. We are very happy of the amazing group everyone has helped us achieve. To celebrate it, we’re launching the second edition of “Architecture Offices Around the World”. Last year, through the Fan Page, we asked you to take a photo of your office and upload it. We received many, and selected a few which you can see right here. This year we want to do the same, but with a small giveaway. Among all the photos we receive, we’re giving two DVD’s of “Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect”.

So just take a photo of your office, upload it through our Facebook Fan Page and let’s all share our working spaces!

You can watch the movie trailer here or find out more about it here (courtesy of New Video Digital).

AIA Facebook Young Designers Challenge

AIALogoThe AIA is hosting its first ever design competition on —the AIA Facebook Young Designers Challenge. The competition is targeting emerging professionals, and is open to all AIAS members, all Assoc. members, and all young architect members. (The defines young architects as being licensed 10 years or less.)

The AIA is asking designers to submit new, unbuilt building projects that address America’s most pressing design needs for the 21st century. This can include, but is not limited to: sustainability, public infrastructure, affordable housing, retrofitting suburbs and other resource-intensive built environments, urban farming, and rehabilitating dilapidated urban cores. This requirement is intentionally flexible. The most important factor is that each design offers an innovative solution to a concrete and unsolved problem. The winning designer will be announced in AIArchitect with a feature article on their design in January.

For more information, go to the competition’s website in Facebook.

Best Architectural Animation Competition Winner

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Couple of weeks ago we launched a competition through our Facebook Fan Page to find the best architectural animation video you could send us. After looking at 34 videos and receiving more than 2,500 votes, we have a winner!

Armir Shapllo, with his Space Camp Nou video (see it after the break), received more than 800 votes to win a brand new iPod Touch. Matej Štefanac came second and Alex Roman third. Congratulations to Armir, and to everyone who participated. And remember to follow us through Twitter and our Facebook Fan Page for more competitions!

Vote for the Best Architectural Animation at ArchDaily

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As you may know, to celebrate 25,000 fans on our Facebook Fans (we are now over 29,000!), we launched a competition to look for the best architectural animation video. We received many submissions and now it’s time for you to decide the winner. You have till December 6 to cast your vote.

The good thing is you may vote once per day, so come back here and vote to support your favorite entry! Results will be published on December 7 and the winner will receive a brand new iPod Touch. See all the videos after the break and startvoting right now!

To see the videos in a larger size, just click on them to launch them on YouTube.