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Facebook gets permission to build second campus

New building will be across the street from the current Menlo Park headquarters

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 28, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2e68

(Updated to reflect comment from Facebook)

Facebook is growing. It is growing in terms of overall users, hitting one billion last Fall. It is growing its mobile users, which were 680 million monthly as of the end of last year, an increase of 57% from 2011. And now it is also going to be growing its headquarters as well.

The city council for Menlo Park has voted 4-0 to give Facebook permission to build a second campus, it was reported by Mercury News late Wednesday.

"Congratulations," Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki told Facebook officials yesterday, according to the Mercury News. "Where's the 'Like' button?"

The new building, which will be standing on 22-acres of land, will be at 312 and 313 Constitution Drive, directly across the street from Facebook’s current headquarters. It will reportedly be 433,555-square-foot long, and will be mostly 45 feet high, though in some areas it will be as tall as 73 feet due to a surface-level parking lot. Since the two campuses will be right across from each other, Facebook will also be building a tunnel beneath Bayfront Expressway, which runs between the  two campuses, in order to connect them.

The new campus has been designed by architect Frank Gehry, whose other buildings include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Facebook revealed its designs for the new building back in August.

"It will be a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse.  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," Everett Katigbak, Facebook's Environmental Design Manager, wrote at the time.

"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."

Facebook's currently Menlo Park headquarters opened in December 2011. It features a central courtyard that contains full-service cafes, coffee shops, on-site doctors and a fitness center. 

Update:

Facebook has confirmed to VatorNews that the building has been approved.

"In short, the whole campus has been designed to take into account Facebook's way of working and culture.  It is one, large office that will be broken up by conference rooms and break-away spaces, with a parking structure underneath.  There will be a rooftop garden, as well as a ground level one.  Frank is famous for his ability to execute on the wishes of his client while keeping his projects within their budget.  As such, the costs of the campus will be considerably lower than most of Frank's previous work.  This is especially true as the building is designed to be simple—almost like a giant warehouse, rather than a monument to Frank or Mark.  It's emphasis is on functionality, rather than extravagance," a Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook also told us that it "will plant a number of trees along the ground level (where now there is only empty land), and we'll extend that into a rooftop garden that will cover the entire building," and that the building "will hold up to 3,400 employees and will be an engineering-only office."

(Image source: http://www.techxav.com)


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