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Intuit’s sleek new Building 20 helps save area birds’ lives

The tech giant shares space with wet marsh lands

Exterior shot of Intuit Photos by Brock Keeling

Noted as one of the most bird-friendly structures in Silicon Valley, Intuit’s new Building 20, which opened in late 2016, adds a much-needed contemporary touch to the campus while creating a harmonious union with their feathered neighbors.

Located next to Google’s main campus in Mountain View, Intuit’s new main structure is sort of a town hall for employees, a main space for gathering and hanging out at lunch, in between projects, or meeting clients.

Coming in at a whopping 188,500 square feet, the interiors of the building are wide, expansive, and flexible. A large blue staircase punctuates the central “mall” area of the building, bringing to mind staircases of the Centre George Pompidou in Paris or the LA’s Beverly Center.

But the structural treat here is the exterior. Bird-friendly glass curtains the entire facade of Intuit’s new building, which doubles as a living bird lab. While bird collisions are common in the area—Mountain View has marsh lands, ideal conditions for wildlife—Intuit’s new glass exteriors are designed with a series of diaphanous horizontal lines. These lines act as a warning sign for the area’s aviary population. The result—a dramatic reduction in bird-to-building fatalities.

Employees even reportedly seen birds fly toward the window, stop, and move above and around the building safely.

The building is also a living laboratory that monitors and records bird activity in the surrounding protected wet lands. Native grasses are ample around and throughout the building, providing vegetation to encourage and support the migration of local Bay-land bird species.

According to Intuit, “During the building’s construction, the Intuit workplaces team had to work around the mating and nesting of local red tail hawks. Intuit is working in partnership with the Audubon Society and other sustainable community organizations.”

Wind sculpture on Building 20 terrace.
Wind sculpture on Building 20 terrace.

Intuit’s expansion also boasts 74,000 square-foot landscaped area that features a reflection garden, wind sculptures, patio area that doubles as a TV-screening lounge, and views of the bay.

In line with their neighboring companies, Intuit’s Building 20 also has an organic, chef-driven eatery that’s sure to make any Financial District dweller simmer with envy. Speaking of turning green, Intuit’s new building will presumably prompt other local tech giants to follow suit. As if popular in the industry, one company always tries to outdo the other when it comes to headquarter design. In other words: Your move, Google.