Imagine if a few years ago you woke up to the news that someone paid more than one million dollars for three plots of digital land next to famed rapper Snoop Dogg’s digital mansion. You’d probably ask yourself, “What is digital real estate, and why would someone pay for that?” Over the past year, there’s been a rush to buy properties, art, and land- but all of it exists in a virtual world called the metaverse. Although this world existed long before the pandemic, lockdowns propelled the online world to a new level, catching the attention of private buyers and brokerages alike who began to funnel tier money into this augmented reality. But how did this world emerge, what does the future hold, and can anyone join the virtual world?
Facebook: The Latest Architecture and News
For technology companies, image is everything. Whether it be the latest iPhone, the newest Slack interface, or the latest Uber app update, these multimillion-dollar giants strive daily to keep the user engaged, and to keep their image young, current, and cutting edge. Invariably, this need to be noticed transcends the digital screen, and manifests in the architecture of the offices where this innovation takes place.
Across the world, from Dublin to Tel Aviv to Tokyo, the workspaces of the world's largest tech companies are redefining how offices are designed, aided by leading architects such as Foster + Partners, Snøhetta, and Gehry Partners. While our recent article on solutions for flexible home offices reflects on strategic functionality and individual expression, the 30 workspaces below dedicate themselves to collaboration and inspiration through a play on scales, color, shapes, and unexpected fixtures.
Gehry Partners recently completed Facebook's new MPK 21 building in Menlo Park, California. Expanding the company's existing footprint, the design was built in less than 18 months as a highly sustainable building. Formed to bring the outdoors into the office space, the project centers on a sheltered green space with 40-foot-tall redwood trees and an amphitheater-style courtyard that connects to the original Gehry-designed MPK 20 building.
Facebook is moving into new offices in London’s King’s Cross. The announcement from King’s Cross details the social media giant’s commitment to take over 600,000 square feet (55,000 square meters) of office space across three buildings, namely 11 and 21 Canal Reach by Bennetts Associates, and P2 by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
The July 23rd deal between Facebook and King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) represents one of the most significant such commitments in London in the last decade, encompassing around 15% of King’s Cross’ 4-million-square-foot (370,000 square meters) commercial portfolio.
“Do people love tech companies so much that they would live inside them?” This is the question posed by The New York Times in an article reflecting on Facebook’s plans for Willow Village, a 59-acre urban district located at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Described as a “growth space” that will allow the company to expand their European presence, the new headquarters would span four buildings in King’s Cross Central – the same part of the city where Google is building its own 11-story “groundscraper” campus designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studios.
Facebook has announced plans for a new mixed-use neighborhood adjoining their existing headquarters in Menlo Park, California to be led by the New York office of OMA and Partner Shohei Shigematsu. Known as Willow Campus, the campus masterplan seeks to further invest in Facebook’s home community, joining the original campus designed by Frank Gehry.
“It’s exciting to collaborate with Facebook, whose innovation in networking and social media extends to urban ambitions for connectivity in the Bay Area,” commented Shigematsu. “The Willow Campus masterplan creates a sense of place with diverse programming that responds to the needs of the Menlo Park community. The site has the potential to impact the future of regional transportation, housing, and environment.”
Social media is one of the most critical elements for a successful marketing strategy. For architecture firms, the bounty of online platforms supporting visual content can allow ideas, commissions, and buildings to reach millions of architecture lovers around the world with a single click.
Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has proven to be an enduring platform for sharing architectural ideas, with even ArchDaily taking the decision in February to make Facebook a primary avenue for reader comments. Below, we have rounded up the 20 architecture firms worldwide with the most Facebook followers, demonstrating how a well-maintained, engaging presence on social media can allow architectural ideas to be spread to millions of enthusiasts. Are you following all of them?
Did you know you can manage who you "see first" in your Facebook news feed? Don't let advertisers take your top spot, as Facebook's new "See First" feature allows you to control which of your favorite friends and websites (hint: ArchDaily) are shown to you first. Make ArchDaily part of your daily newsfeed on Facebook by following these few simple steps:
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.
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.
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 Sketchfab work in a Facebook post, your model is instantly accessible to your friends and fans, and easy to share.
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 Facebook, we’ve rounded up the #Top10 Facebook Posts from the past 14 months, based on the number of people reached (as calculated by Facebook). From World Cup-related architecture to undulating staircases see the Top 10 Posts after the break.