Facebook expanded when on this Monday employees began moving to social network west campus. The new building is expanded to 430,000 square feet and also can accommodate around 2800 workers.
According to sources familiar with the project, Monday was a soft opening and not an official one as employees are still getting familiar with the new space and Level 10 Construction is wrapping up its work.
The West Campus is LEED gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and was designed as “simply one large, open room — a direct reflection of Facebook’s open and transparent culture,” the sources said.
The building, which features a nine-acre green roof with a half-mile walking loop for employees and more than 400 trees, has attracted widespread attention. The space, created by CMG Landscape Architecture, will “serve as a haven for local and native birds, as the trees and plants are climate appropriate and native to [California],” according to the sources.
Moreover, the roof will absorb heat and produce insulation, enabling Facebook to keep down its central air and heating costs. A parking garage was constructed beneath the building for energy efficiency.
Facebook also chose fritted window panes because the lines or patterns embedded in the glass are more visible to and therefore safer for birds, who otherwise might fly into clear glass windows.
In a written statement, Frank Gehry described the finished product as a “remarkably human environment” with “beautiful light and scale.” Instead of a “grand design statement,” the building boasts a “toughness” and “rawness” that the world-renowned Canadian-American architect said he hopes will be conducive to “innovation and invention of the highest level.”
“From the start, Mark [Zuckerberg] wanted a space that was unassuming, matter-of-fact and cost effective,” Gehry added in the statement. “He did not want it overly designed. It also had to be flexible to respond to the ever-changing nature of his business — one that facilitated collaboration and one that did not impose itself on their open and transparent culture. This is the building that we created for him.”