Architecture

Microsoft puts pedestrians first with Redmond campus renovation

Microsoft puts pedestrians fir...
Microsoft expects its new Redmond facilities to increase employee capacity by 8,000
Microsoft expects its new Redmond facilities to increase employee capacity by 8,000
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Microsoft expects its new Redmond facilities to increase employee capacity by 8,000
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Microsoft expects its new Redmond facilities to increase employee capacity by 8,000

Microsoft has revealed plans to completely overhaul its huge 500 acre (202 hectare) flagship campus in Redmond, Washington. The multi-year project will focus on modernizing and increasing employee capacity, while also making the headquarters more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

The proposal certainly isn't as exciting as Google's starchitect-designed HQ or Apple's "spaceship," though Microsoft's competitors are starting from scratch rather than renovating a longtime home while remaining operational, so have more opportunity to be radical.

Work will start on the project in late 2018 and will take five to seven years to complete. The equivalent of 80 American football fields' worth of new and renovated workspaces will be constructed. The offices themselves will feature collaborative and flexible areas, as well as benefit from ample natural light inside.

A total of US$150 million is earmarked for transportation infrastructure and the campus will include pedestrian and cyclist-friendly zones, with cars kept out of sight in an underground parking facility. A foot/cycle bridge will connect to a planned light rail station and Microsoft will be running carpools, buses, and other transportation options too.

Elsewhere, a 2-acre (0.8 hectare) plaza with room for up to 12,000 people will be available for workers, as well as extensive landscaping, running and walking trails, facilities for soccer and cricket, and retail space.

Microsoft aims to minimize waste and says that monitoring systems will be in place to help optimize energy usage. We wouldn't be surprised to see some more involved sustainable plans unveiled as the project progresses.

In all, Microsoft expects its new Redmond facilities to increase the current 47,000 employee capacity by 8,000.

Source: Microsoft

2 comments
EZ
Is this because their workers can't afford transportation machines?
Daishi
The football and soccer fields make for a pretty picture but really of the 8k employees how many of them will see use from it? I think it would have been more interesting to build a food court, convention hall, or indoor gym in the middle or maybe combined some structure for some of those purposes. I know Apple space shuttle lacks a place for child care, maybe the middle could have a day care attached to the indoor gym. Gym locker rooms are useful for bicycling employees too. I honestly think US companies should just take a page out of Foxconn's playbook and build cheap volume housing next door for employees. There isn't anyone who's productivity isn't crushed commuting 2 hours each way to an office and it cuts down on traffic (and the need for car ownership and parking). What I would design would look a lot different than what Apple and MS are doing.