Facebook, Menlo Park, USA
Wednesday 03 Oct 2012

 

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The Facebook campus represents a fundamental shift in how we will approach work in the 21st century. The future of the workplace has arrived at the foot of the Dumbarton Bridge.

When Facebook announced in early 2011 that it was moving from its Palo Alto headquarters to the over 1-million square foot campus, it seemed hard to imagine the social-media juggernaut thriving in such a relic of early '90s corporate office park. Some might be surprised that the campus is not extravagant and luxurious. Instead, visitors confronted by plywood ceiling elements, concrete floors, and shop lighting tend to ask when the project will be finished. And for Facebook, that's the point.

When its CEO famously communicates to his employees that the company is only "1%" of the way there, it makes sense that its headquarters would be a dynamic, open, and social work-in-progress.

The design team understood that Facebook is more than a technology company: it is a creative company, where the spirit of making things permeates the culture. Instead of corporate colours and official logos, the campus was designed for its inhabitants to take ownership over their space through artwork, installations, and the ability to simply reconfigure their space. Employees are encouraged to add their own personality to their space and are helped along by a dynamic artist-in-residency program where emerging artists are brought in to create featured works that add dynamism to the workplace.

The design work focused on much more than simply creating a canvas for employee self-expression. We performed an in-depth investigation into a new model of the high-performance workplace for Facebook's engineers, who are the core of the company.

An open environment while balancing small-group collaboration and intense focus was the goal and the team delivered a new space type that will allow for unprecedented team-focused collaboration within and between engineering groups. Individuals have the time and space to imagine, muse, write, reflect, create, and just be alone with their thoughts. They also have easy access to their teams to meet, critique, refine, brainstorm, iterate, and develop.