Facebook MPK 20
Menio Park, CA, USA
Forell Elsesser (Structural Engineer) PAE (Mechanical Plumbing Electrical Engineer) CMG Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architect) BKF (Civil Engineer) Newson Brown Acoustics (Acoustic Engineer) Observatoire International (Lighting Designer) Gehry Technologies, Inc. (BIM Management) Level10 Construction (General Contractor)
Yoshio Futagawa Facebook Gehry Partners
Facebook’s MPK 20 is a formerly industrial 20-acre brownfield site located at the corner of Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road in Menlo Park, California - adjacent to extensive industrial salt flats along the southern edge of San Francisco Bay, and Belle Haven, a residential neighborhood, directly behind the site. The 430,000 sf MPK 20 building is conceived as a single-story, high-bay warehouse type office space with open workstations and employee support spaces including conference rooms, lounges, cafeteria, cafés, IT and laundry service. The building is raised 1-story above a 1,500 stall on-grade parking lot and other building service functions. A covered outdoor transit hub has been created on site for Facebook employee shuttle buses that help mitigate the number of car trips to and from the site. A simple existing undercrossing beneath the Bayfront Expressway connects the new building to Facebook’s existing campus.
In spring 2012, Facebook approached our office to help them create ‘the ideal space for engineering.’ They were seeking our collaboration in order to design a large, casual, open plan room that would allow for flexibility, growth and a high degree of interaction between the 2,800+ core engineers who develop and maintain Facebook’s operating platform. They expressed their interest in generating an unassuming, matter-of-fact and cost effective project. It was important to them that the final design not impose itself upon their open and transparent work culture but rather facilitated constant adaptation and creative responsiveness. The opportunity to collaborate on such a design challenge was a particularly enticing one as it related closely to the toughness and rawness of the office’s earliest work.
Facebook’s MPK 20 building design maximizes opportunities for comfortable indoor/outdoor working environments. Skylights and large window openings provide controlled natural daylighting for the workspace. Large office level terraces and a 9-acre landscaped rooftop create a densely planted ‘hillside’ of trees and ground planting that blend the architecture into the surrounding landscape and become a sanctuary for migratory songbirds and other bird species native to the region. A meandering half-mile roof-top walking path allows employees to hold informal walking meetings in nature. The creation of seasonal wetland areas at the ground assist with on-site water retention/filtration and enhance the pedestrian experience along the existing Baytrail. The choice of simple exterior building materials – stucco, metal, glass – takes cues from the forms and functionality of the neighboring industrial structures developed along the south bay over the past century.