March 28, 2013
Facebook’s Proposed West Campus Liked By Menlo’s City Council
Menlo Park's City Council has approved the construction of Facebook’s proposed 22-acre West Campus with one big 433,555-square-foot building designed by Frank Gehry to be built on Constitution Drive across the street from Facebook's existing East Campus.
Rising up to 73 feet in height but averaging closer to 45, the West Campus building will be built over ground-level parking with a rooftop park planted with 205 trees and a meadow:
Click the site plan above to enlarge, a section of which is modeled below.
∙ Facebook Campus Project - Project Plans [menlopark.org]
∙ Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook's Menlo Park Expansion [SocketSite]
First Published: March 28, 2013 10:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I don't suppose there's any chance of that underpass being accessible to the public--because crossing that freeway sucks.
Posted by: Alai at March 28, 2013 1:59 PM
But I thought San Francisco was the "technology capital of the world." My mistake, it is Menlo Park.
Posted by: sf at March 28, 2013 8:04 PM
This whole thing will be underwater in 50 years, with global warming. What a dumb place to build your world headquarters.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 29, 2013 12:22 AM
what a monstrously terrible design, development, and investment. Facebook folly.
Both of these parcels, particularly the "east campus" should be demolished and restored as wetland. It's an abomination that they exist in the first place. The East Campus will be underwater in a couple decades, maybe they're hoping the region will at least build a dike to keep the waters from obliterating the new west campus.
Google, Salesforce, Twitter and others are looking to urbanize more and make wise long-term facility decisions, but here Facebook is trying to make to the most unsustainable outlandish campus they can. Actually, that might be Apple, but hopefully that hair-brained UFO scheme will fall by the wayside with Steve Jobs' passing (RIP). A mad genius with a knack for creating good personal electronics and software clearly does not translate to good thinking about human settlement and architecture.
Posted by: intheknow at March 29, 2013 10:01 AM
Good point intheknow-
Lets see- these tech giants could either lease the Transbay Tower, a signature icon that will become infamous, right on top of a interregional bus and train depot and high speed rail direct to downtown LA business centers, next to BART and MUNI so the people who work here, who live in San Francisco mostly, can get to work without having to drive, and walking and lunching distance to other tech and startup hq's where brainstorming and networking is easy as crossing the street.
Or an office park next to a freeway.
Really, silicon valley's long term strategy is dead in the water (literally)
Posted by: sf at March 29, 2013 10:39 AM
Agree with the above comments. Really, really bad design. Clients are still using Frank Gehry to pile up bits of scrap metal, chain link and bargain bin Home Depot crap to build so called architecture. So 80's.
Why isn't FB really thinking more long term and a more urban transit, urban living and housing approach. They could develop an amazing headquarters in SF, where most of the workers would rather live anyway. think of the potential.
Why..even Zuck could bike to work. Amazing.
Posted by: futurist at March 29, 2013 10:46 AM
Eventually, the ground level parking will be underwater, and the new campus will be a scenic island. Workers can transfer from the Facebook bus to gondolas for the last part of the voyage to work.
Posted by: Dan at March 29, 2013 10:55 AM
"This whole thing will be underwater in 50 years...
I can't think of any Silicon Valley office building that has lasted that long anyways. It seems like the average life a SV tech building is about 30 years. Then it gets mowed down and replaced by something larger.
As for the comments about tech companies settling in SF: c'mon, these are businesses. They want to keep their expenditures under control and that means going for cheaper land for offices. Plus most tech employees live in the south bay anyways.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 29, 2013 12:41 PM
When Sun Microsystems built this campus in the 90s people were excited about it because it would bring something other than criminals to East Palo Alto. And it was further north than their other locations with easy access from SF so others were excited that it would slow the exodus of tech workers from SF to SV.
Now that FB has moved in and wants to expand the campus, we have to read nonsensical objections about rising sea levels and lack of mass transit. Newsflash, FB is one of the employers that have shuttle service to/from SF. That is mass transit too, even if it's not "public". The more people they pack in at their HQ as opposed to building satellite offices, the fewer cars on the road. Fact. So why don't you people just chill out.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 29, 2013 1:55 PM
…the most unsustainable outlandish campus they can. Actually, that might be Apple, but hopefully that hair-brained UFO scheme will fall by the wayside with Steve Jobs' passing (RIP). A mad genius with a knack for creating good personal electronics and software clearly does not translate to good thinking about human settlement and architecture.
As far as the saucer-shaped building, it's been delayed, but it's going forward.
From the Los Angeles Times on the 6th, CEO Tim Cook says new Apple campus delayed until 2016:
…while building your own architectural wonderland has now officially become a trend here, it was Apple's proposed spaceship campus that kicked it off.
Alas, getting the thing off the ground is taking longer than expected.
Heh…"proposed spaceship"…"getting the thing off the ground", get it?
During Apple's recent annual shareholder meeting, Chief Executive Tim Cook told the audience that the building wouldn't be ready by 2015, and that now the company was looking at 2016 to occupy it.
…The building will cover 175 acres and have 2.8 million square feet that will be the new headquarters for 12,000 Apple employees.…Apple bought the land from Hewlett-Packard, and Cook noted that 80% of the site was covered in concrete and asphalt. Under Apple's plan, only 20% will be paved, with the rest planted with trees and other greenery.
"It's going to be green," Cook said. "It's going to be like a park. It's going to be incredible."
2.8 million square feet is a lot; as a comparison, the entire Transbay Tower is going to offer 1.3 million ft.²
I too think it would be more progressive if high tech companies headquartered or at least maintained sizeable offices in San Francisco or some other established city with at least some existing mass transit infrastructure instead of building new sprawling suburban campuses. At least Apple is repurposing existing office park-like land.
Although the "control of expenditures" argument sounds compelling, companies like Apple and Facebook (and IMHO, Salesforce) can easily afford to buy real estate anywhere in California. They aren't pre-IPO companies operating under "Lean Startup" conditions.
But Milkshake's right that there are a lot of high tech workers in the Santa Clara Valley. And lots of them like living and working in low-density suburbs like Cupertino and Menlo Park that offer the majority of their housing in the detached SFH format.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at March 29, 2013 2:36 PM
Jusy heard on the news today the CEO of Facebook owes 1 billion in federal income tax.
He better put a couple bucks away for uncle Sam.
Posted by: inclinejj at March 29, 2013 3:47 PM