Once pooh-poohed as an unhealthy, noisy work environment, the open-plan office has been given a fresh vote of confidence by innovative social media company Facebook. Its new headquarters based in Menlo Park, California, see even big boss Mark Zuckerberg sitting at his desk in the communal space that houses some 2800 employees.
Designed by Frank Gehry, the headquarters’ design is based on the idea that an open-plan office makes everyone – and their great ideas – accessible. In Zuckerberg’s words, it creates an open and transparent culture that ‘enables us to do our best work.’
‘When we first announced we were adding a building to our campus, Frank Gehry reached out and asked to design it. He really believes in our mission to connect the world,’ explained Zuckerberg in a post on 6 April.
The warehouse-y styling is practical and perhaps appropriate for the high level of industry that goes on at Facebook, which is slowly transforming beyond being a simple social media network into e-commerce, online connectivity worldwide and more.
Washington Post writer
Dubbed Building 20, the headquarters mark the first time that Facebook has been able to build its offices from scratch, and the almost nine-hectare grounds it sits on have been given a unique mark.
The main stairs are a grand plywood-clad double-storey space, while the waiting area has been given a psychedelic artwork that extends towards the exposed ceiling, highlighted by wall-to-floor windows to get in as much natural light as possible.
Lori Goler, Facebook’s Vice President of People and HR, tells Frankel that the design was meant to reflect the company’s philosophy that its work is a far way from being complete. Read the full story here.
Besides the open-plan warehouse feel indoors, employees have a veritable rooftop Eden – almost four hectares of beautiful garden with fully grown trees to boot – in which they can spend their time.
Overall, it’s a space that encourages social, open interaction, meaning that ideas and solutions can be easily passed on.
FB filmed this video of Mark Zuckerberg giving the grand tour of the office space. Watch it here: