Facebook has revealed its newest expansion to its Menlo Park headquarters last week, a Frank Gehry-designed office called MPK 21. This is in addition to their existing Gehry-designed building, MPK 20 opened in 2015. This new building was completed in just under 18 months and is a “new kind of architecture” according to the 89-year-old architect.
“All the things we learned doing building 20, prepared us for 21,” Gehry said in a Facebook video. “We were getting lessons in Facebook culture and we are making a new kind of architecture within that culture.”
MPK 21 features a 3.6-acre rooftop garden, a 2000 person event space, 1.4 megawatts of solar panels and an “amphitheater-styled courtyard” which offers sheltered outdoor meeting and workspace, along with five different eateries. A water recycling system has been installed that will save around 17 million gallons of water each year, which will become increasingly important as soon there will be more Facebook employees than local residents in Menlo Park.
An irregular zigzag shaped roof was designed to bring plenty of natural light inside and staggered seating levels, interspersed with tropical planting, provides one of a number of flexible workspaces for employees.
A central courtyard in the middle of the new structure forms the “town square” of the workplace, complete restaurants, amenities and redwood trees.
There are more plans to construct a path for pedestrians and bicyclists over a nearby expressway and an 8,000 square-metre park with event space for community and neighborhood use.
“I feel like we’re not turning our back on the neighborhood,” Gehry said in the same video. “We’re talking to the architecture of the neighborhood. So it feels like it belongs there.”
In late 2013, Gehry was also asked to design its offices in London and Dublin, and earlier this year, he completed the Manhattan offices for Instagram.