Facebook reveals Gehry design for ambitious new campus

Frank Gehry, designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, will design Facebook Campus West

Facebook has commissioned world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to design its first custom-built campus. Gehry is perhaps best known as the architect behind the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the new campus will allow both him and Facebook to make a distinctive mark on Silicon Valley.

The project represents Facebook's first customized campus -- its current home was previously occupied by Sun Microsystems. It will house 3,400 engineers in a single building with reconfigurable work and meeting space and a garden that extends from around the building to cover the entire roof of the structure, according to Facebook.

It will be situated on ground already owned by the social networking site operator that sits across the street from its current campus in Menlo Park. A tunnel already connects the two pieces of ground and that will be used by staff moving between the two.

Dubbed Facebook Campus West, initial plans called for four separate buildings but Gehry consolidated these into a single structure that manages to avoid the look of a warehouse or hangar by having angled walls that zig-zag along the length of the building.

Photographs of models of the new building released by Facebook on Friday show hundreds of desks occupying the interior broken up by meeting rooms and offices -- effectively buildings within the building. These interior buildings are oddly spaced and angled to match the exterior and will probably mean each area inside the building doesn't feel too big.

To the northern side of two buildings are what appear to be water slides -- something that wouldn't be totally out of place in the Internet corporate culture of Silicon Valley -- but their actual purpose is less exciting. They are curving walkways that will take people from the office space to the parking structure that will sit underneath the building.

Facebook will submit the plans to the City of Menlo Park on Monday.

The city and local residents have been wary of plans to expand the campus because of the extra traffic it would bring to the area. The issue is likely to be high in local people's minds when planning discussions for the new campus take place.

Those discussions are likely later this year then, pending local approval, ground breaking on the campus in early 2013. It will take about two years to build.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?