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Frank Gehry designs Facebook HQ Expansion

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Frank Gehry designs Facebook HQ Expansion

Silicon Valley wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg is enlisting architect Frank Gehry to expand Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, near Palo Alto, California.
Gehry has been charged with creating a space for 3,400 Facebook engineers to work on developing the new, new thing for the social networking site now struggling to prove its dominance in the market.
Early plans show the company's team of techies will congregate in a massive open room, which will be the largest open office space in the world, in keeping with Zuckerberg's mission to make the 'world a more open place.'
The building will be topped with trees and will be connected to the company's main offices by an underground tunnel. Construction is expected to begin in 2013.

Zuck took to his Facebook page to praise the design legend and gush over Gehry’s vision for the new offices: 'I'm excited to work with Frank Gehry to design our new campus. The idea is to make the perfect engineering space: one giant room that fits thousands of people, all close enough to collaborate together. It will be the largest open floor plan in the world, but it will also have plenty of private, quiet spaces as well. The roof of the building will be a park that blends into the community with a long walking trail, a field and lots of places to sit. From the outside it will appear as if you're looking at a hill in nature.'

The 28-year-old Zuckerberg purchased the Menlo Park space, which was previously the campus for Sun Microsystems, in February 2011 to house his social networking empire. With the address of 1 Hacker Way, the environment of the Facebook campus is typically tech - with a casual dress code, open-office space and plenty of amenities to accommodate the unconventional hours kept by employees.
With a partnership with the avant-garde Gehry, the once-booming business is seemingly seeking to attract new talent to help its lagging market performance, after it went public on May 18.
With the eyes of the world watching the IPO, Facebook opened at $38 dollars a share but the sought-after stock has disappointed investors and steadily fallen, reaching an all time low of $18.75 a share last week.
Indeed expectations are high for the thousands of engineers, that will be housed in the highly-anticipated Gehry-designed office, to develop new features to keep Facebook competitive.

The 83-year-old seems a fitting match for the Facebook co-founder, given the Canadian-American designer has been dubbed at ‘starchitect’ for his award winning designs and celebrity status. Gehry, labeled ‘the most important architect of our age’ by Vanity Fair, is known for a deconstructivist style, which defies traditions and conventional ideas for structures.
His pieces can sometimes leave a viewer wondering if the work is even finished. Notable designs by Gehry include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles and the 8 Spruce Street Tower in New York City along with a portfolio of other projects that bear the mark of his handiwork.

'His teams are filled with people who are unbelievably talented and love what they do. The whole thing reminded me of Facebook, so that when I met Frank, I already knew he was a perfect fit for us,' Everett Katigbak, Facebook's Environmental Design Manager, wrote in a Facebook posting about the partnership. 'Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects. There will be cafes and lots of micro-kitchens with snacks so that you never have to go hungry. And we’ll fill the building with break-away spaces with couches and whiteboards to make getting away from your desk easy,' Katigbak promised.
'We've paid just as much attention to the outside as well. The exterior takes into account the local architecture so that it fits in well with its surroundings. We’re planting a ton of trees on the grounds and more on the rooftop garden that spans the entire building. The raw, unfinished look of our buildings means we can construct them quickly and with a big emphasis on being eco-friendly.  Of course, we'll maintain our current campus and use an underground tunnel to connect the two,' he added.
'We plan to break ground on the new building in early 2013 and hope for a quick construction. When it’s completed, we hope it will provide a paradise workspace for the 2,800 engineers who will one day fill it.'

 

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

28/08/2012

 

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