Menlo Park: Facebook opens west campus


It's no longer "the Gehry building" -- Facebook's newest Menlo Park office has been dubbed "MPK20" as employees start moving in this week.

Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the 433,555-square-foot west campus sits at 1 Facebook Way (formerly known as a portion of Constitution Drive), across the street from the main east campus. A pedestrian-bike tunnel runs underneath the Bayfront Expressway to connect the two campuses, and is also now open for business, according to the social media company.

Construction of the west campus started in September 2014 and was done to meet LEED Gold environmental standards, according to Facebook. Design features include an insulated roof to reduce heating and cooling costs and etched windows to deter birds from crashing into the panes.

The building is expected to eventually hold 2,800 engineers in one large, open room, a layout that emphasizes space and connection, according to the designers. "It will take us some time to grow into the space," Facebook sources said.

It's also not done: "The building itself is pretty simple and isn't fancy. That's on purpose. We want our space to feel like a work in progress. When you enter our buildings, we want you to feel how much left there is to be done in our mission to connect the world," CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page.

The outside looks fancier than the inside: The rooftop was turned into a 9-acre garden complete with a half-mile walking trail, outdoor work spaces and 400 trees, according to Facebook.

Mr. Gehry described the building as a "remarkably human environment" in a press release, and said he was very proud of how the collaborative project turned out. "It is not a grand design statement and it has a toughness and a rawness that reminds me of the work I was doing in the early part of my career," he wrote.

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6 people like this
Posted by Gardenfan
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm

I'm curious about all those trees on the roof. What are the provisions for their roots?

The academy of sciences roof is made up of shallow rooted succulents, so I wonder how the FB trees will survive.

Will there be an Open House and tour for the community? I'm a fan of Gehry and would love to see the building.

3 people like this
Posted by acomfort
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:34 pm

From: Web Link...
Those discrepancies means Facebook won’t be creating a company town from whole cloth, but slowly taking over the existing city of Menlo Park and re-envisioning it for their employees. The Facebook-backed Anton Menlo development, for example, will consist of 394 units when it opens next year. Just 15 of those are reportedly available for non-Facebook employees.

Now, a development of under 400 units may not seem like much in a city of 33,000 people, but keep in mind the company currently employs 4,600 people at its current headquarters, and its flashy new Gehry office building will have space for 2,800. How many of those employees will be new hires or relocations? Who knows, but if we assume (wrongly, but bear with me) that every current headquartered employee lives in Menlo Park, Facebook would employ 14 percent of the population. You might see where I’m going with this.

In the last municipal election, just over 10,000 ballots were cast from 17,000 registered voters, a turnout which was “unusually high,” according to poll workers. The margin between third and fourth place (the top three are elected) was less than 350 votes. In fact, fewer than 2,000 votes separated the top from the bottom. Changing the dynamic of the Menlo Park city council wouldn’t be that difficult. Even a tiny amount of voter coordination could do the job. <SNIP>
- Arlen

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Posted by acomfort
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm

If the link doesn't work in my previous post try this one
Web Link

The title of the article in "" 3/31/15 is
"Robber Barons Would Have Loved Facebook’s Employee Housing"

Hope this link comes through better


2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 31, 2015 at 3:15 pm

@acomfort. I read the link and your post.... I am confused on where you stand. Here is my statement. Life changes, as does business. If you stand still you miss it. A recent survey showed 80% of Californians want the high tech to expand and grow. Yet only 30% want it in their back-yard. So, do we expand and grow, and do we lure those with a high income to us or do we 'shoe' them away and let things happen in progression. No easy answer. I would argue, that progression is essential. I have seen other states take advantage of our inability to change - they have and have lured the hi-tech. More money earned is more money spent in OUR community.
I am but one voice though

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Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

really? is a registered user.

@Robert- agreed. Is a company town a good or bad thing? Is Hershey PA an oligarcic example of feudal power or is it a better and more prosperous place than the next small forgotten town in the adjacent county?

Yes, Facebook is growing like ivy, but then ask Seattle if it wants to curtail Boeing or Microsoft?

7 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

"...keep in mind the company currently employs 4,600 people at its current headquarters, and its flashy new Gehry office building will have space for 2,800."

I don't use FB myself, and I am maybe overlooking the extent of it, but I have a hard time imagining: what do all these people actually DO?

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Posted by peepshow
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm

here's a look inside: Web Link

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Posted by Sunray
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm

The building is very cool.

I use Fakebook a little - mostly to see what my friends are up to, but can't imagine that it will be around for a long time; after all, I worked at Sun Microsystems when it was thriving and used to occupy the current Facebook location. I wonder who will occupy the space in ten years?

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Posted by Willows Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm

I for one like having FB here. It is driving up real estate and rents, which is great for homeowners and landlords alike. It will also result in more money spent locally and will raise salaries for service jobs, so most everyone wins.

I was noting as I drove through Belle Haven today - a lot of young professionals. I have liven in Menlo and Palo Alto for 47 years and it is very nice to see the edges of East Menlo and East PA improve as they have. So much better for the area than Whiskey Gulch.

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