Architecture

Frank Gehry designs green-roofed, solar-powered Facebook HQ expansion

MPK 21 is topped by a 3.6 acre (1.45 hectare) rooftop garden that contains over 200 trees
MPK 21 is topped by a 3.6 acre (1.45 hectare) rooftop garden that contains over 200 trees
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MPK 21's The Bowl is a large amphitheater-like courtyard that connects MPK 21 and the adjacent Gehry-designed MPK 20
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MPK 21's The Bowl is a large amphitheater-like courtyard that connects MPK 21 and the adjacent Gehry-designed MPK 20
MPK 21 is topped by a 3.6 acre (1.45 hectare) rooftop garden that contains over 200 trees
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MPK 21 is topped by a 3.6 acre (1.45 hectare) rooftop garden that contains over 200 trees
MPK 21's interior has a utilitarian decor
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MPK 21's interior has a utilitarian decor
MPK 21 has a 1.4 MW rooftop photovoltaic array that will reduce grid-based electricity needs by nearly 2 million kWh annually
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MPK 21 has a 1.4 MW rooftop photovoltaic array that will reduce grid-based electricity needs by nearly 2 million kWh annually
MPK 21 features a large sheltered green space called The Town Square that offers a pleasant outdoor place to work
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MPK 21 features a large sheltered green space called The Town Square that offers a pleasant outdoor place to work

Apple is paired with Foster + Partners, Google with BIG and Thomas Heatherwick, and Facebook's architect of choice is Frank Gehry. The social media giant recently commissioned the starchitect to expand its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The new building, named MPK 21, was completed in just 18 months and includes significant sustainable features.

MPK 21 is based on what was formerly an unoccupied industrial site, and is topped by a 3.6 acre (1.45 hectare) rooftop garden that contains over 200 trees and a 0.5-mile (0.8 km)-long path. A large sheltered green space called The Town Square offers a pleasant outdoor place to work, and an amphitheater-like courtyard called The Bowl connects MPK 21 with Facebook's other building, the adjacent Gehry-designed MPK 20.

The interior decor is relatively utilitarian and makes use of plywood and exposed fixtures. Its layout is flexible and offers both collaborative office spaces and private offices. One long hallway runs the entire length of the building and there are five dining areas, 15 art installations, and a large 2,000 capacity event and meeting space.

MPK 21's interior has a utilitarian decor
MPK 21's interior has a utilitarian decor

MK 21 is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification (a green building standard), and includes a water recycling system that, according to Facebook, will save approximately 17 million gallons (64,350,000 liters) of water per year. A 1.4 MW rooftop photovoltaic array will reduce grid-based electricity needs by nearly 2 million kWh annually, and its expansive "bird-friendly" glazing promises to maximize views and natural light without decimating the local avian population.

In the future, Facebook also aims to complete a nearby park with public plaza and mobile farmers' market, as well as a bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the campus to the surrounding area.

"I'm proud of it and they're proud of it, that's pretty good," says the famously irascible Gehry. "I love being an architect, it's a pain in the ass sometimes, but every once in a while you meet clients like Facebook and great things happen."

Source: Facebook

3 comments
Daishi
In housing windows and doors are your largest efficiency losses. High efficiency windows use multiple panes of windows with enclosed air pockets to offset this. What is a "LEED Platinum certification" worth if you can obtain it with a building made out of even glass walls? In a warm climate all that sunlight coming into the building drives up air conditioning costs. In a cold climate the people sitting next to the window would be freezing. I don't think the building is efficient at all, I think they allow a loophole by offsetting that inefficiency with on premises power production with their roof panels meaning it's only a question of throwing enough money at the problem. I live in CO where we get a lot of sunlight. If we had a glass building all of our employees would need to walk around indoors with sunglasses on.
christopher
Maybe they can build some accomodation for all the homeless people living in squalor right next door while they're at it ? Or maybe just move them somewhere else, to make room for the "public park" - just so long as they're gone by the time that "pedestrian bridge connecting the campus to the surrounding area" is finished - you don't want those poor people coming in over the highway, and ruining that "pleasant outdoor place to work". I guess it's only "pleasant" because they've somehow blocked the views of those next door homeless they've helped to displace...
Nelson Hyde Chick
It is Gehry, so it will be an abomination that will either make its users sick or melt the surroundings around it.
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