Inspiration: Facebook's New Headquarters

Inspiration: Facebook's New Headquarters

Jess Watson
Oct 28, 2009

You don't have to be from the Bay Area to recognize one of our most notorious businesses. Love it or hate it, Facebook's popularity is undeniable as it currently has as many users as the entire US population. This multi-billion dollar company just moved into a new headquarters that reflects all aspects of its social networking mission.

Palo Alto's Facebook used to have its 700 employees working out of 10 different locations, but with the help of Studio O+A, a 150,000 square foot industrial space was transformed into a vibrant, dynamic and green headquarters for this time-sucking social networking website.

Conceptual design sketch from Studio O+A.

Just as user input has served to evolve the website, Facebook conducted polls of its employees about what they wanted in their HQ and also had an advisory board work with the design team through the entire process. The final space continues to be a work in progress as walls are blank and spaces unfinished encouraging employees to add artwork, rearrange furniture, write on the walls (yep, just like Facebook) and fashion the space into something their own.

Since Facebook is comprised of somewhat disparate departments, the new design sought to reflect the patchwork nature of the company while still maintaining a cohesive layout and design. Offices of the executives are centrally located and easily accessible to all employees. Open space provides common areas for employees to hang out while the kitchen, café and micro-kitchens throughout supply gourmet meals and snacks. You know, in case you need something to nibble on while you are hanging out at the turntables watching your co-workers skateboard.

This project is the first commercial renovation completed under Palo Alto's 2008 Green Building Ordinance. The finished design relied heavily on existing architectural features of the former high-tech manufacturer laboratory facility and repurposed many of its industrial components, like a bright orange industrial crane, for post-industrial use. High recycled-content carpet and energy efficient lighting were also installed.

(Image credits: Studio O+A / Cesar Rubio & Jasper Sanidad)

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