Now that’s an open plan office: New pictures reveal Facebook’s ‘hacker cave’
If you’ve ever been annoyed by your colleagues or complained about noise in an open plan office, spare a though for Facebook’s engineers.
The firm today revealed the final plans for its new office building – which includes a giant room housing 2,800 engineers.
At more than 435,000 square feet, spread across 22 acres, the new building also boasts tunnels to Facebook’s current campus, and even a rooftop park filled with cafes and barbecue areas.
The huge roof dips and rises from 45 to 73 feet, and makes the building blend into the surroundings.
There will be seating, cafes and barbecue areas on top -all above a giant, open plan office.
The entire office is built above a surface-level parking lot, and topped with a park.
Mark Zuckerberg enlisted architect Frank Gehry to expand Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, near Palo Alto, California.
Gehry was charged with creating a space for 2,800 Facebook engineers to work on developing the campus for the social networking site now struggling to prove its dominance in the market.
Early plans show the company’s team of techies will congregate in a massive open room, which will be the largest open office space in the world, in keeping with Zuckerberg’s mission to make the ‘world a more open place.’
The building will be topped with trees and will be connected to the company’s main offices by an underground tunnel.
‘I’m excited to work with Frank Gehry to design our new campus,’ said Zuckerberg when the plans were revealed.
‘The idea is to make the perfect engineering space: one giant room that fits thousands of people, all close enough to collaborate together.’
‘It will be the largest open floor plan in the world, but it will also have plenty of private, quiet spaces as well.
The roof of the building will be a park that blends into the community with a long walking trail, a field and lots of places to sit.
‘From the outside it will appear as if you’re looking at a hill in nature.’
Experts say the buildings are the latest round in the hi-tech war – but may not be a good sign.
‘It signals a desire, a statement, to say that we’re special, we’re different,’ said Margaret O’Mara, associate professor of history at the University of Washington, who has written about the building of Silicon Valley.
‘We have changed the world and we are going to continue to change it – and it’s also a reflection of robust bank accounts, they have a lot of cash.’
However, some believe the vast offices could spell the beginning of the end, and many believe the obsession with new premises often comes at a high point in the firm’s existence.
‘I’ve been thinking the Apple spaceship is going to get nicknamed the ‘Death Star’ because the project is so big and the timing is so bad,’ said hedge fund manager Jeff Matthews of Ram Partners.
The building is coming to fruition just as Apple’s product cycles may be maturing, he explained.
‘It is such a classic contrary indicator that you just get the shakes’,’ he told Reuters.
The building will pit Facebook against Google, Amazon and Apple, all of whom are working on new offices.
Amazon is the most recent to reveal its plans.
It plans to build a trio of 65,000-square foot glass domes in Seattle as parts of its new headquarters to take on Apple’s plans for ‘spaceship’ headquarters in Silicon Valley, San Francisco.
The domes will be filled with plants and have been dubbed ‘biospheres’.
© Daily Mail, London