On Tuesday, Facebook announced the completion of another new building in its ongoing Frank Gehry-designed expansion of its Menlo Park headquarters.
The company has conferred the oddly mechanical name “MPK 21” on the new facility, promoting its design on the company’s official blog:
Built in less than 18 months, MPK 21 is a highly sustainable building with a 3.6-acre rooftop garden featuring over 200 trees and a half-mile meandering pathway.
We also brought the outdoors into the office space: The Town Square is a sheltered green space with 40-foot-tall redwood trees, and The Bowl is an amphitheater-style courtyard that connects MPK 21 with another Gehry-designed building, MPK 20.
The previous MPK 20 building opened in 2015. At the time, the company wanted to establish a fairly sedate profile for the project, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg commenting via his own Facebook page:
The building itself is pretty simple and isn’t fancy. That’s on purpose. We want our space to feel like a work in progress. When you enter our buildings, we want you to feel how much left there is to be done in our mission to connect the world.
Actually, it’s a bit striking at times how similar the new building sounds to the existing assets—for example, it includes “15 art installations commissioned through our Artist in Residence Program,” the exact same number of projects featured in MPK 20.
The new building is much smaller than the structure that opened in 2015, whose green roof is nine acres, for example. [Correction: A Facebook spokesperson informs us the new building is actually about 95,000 square feet larger, differences in roof acreage notwithstanding.]
However, note that the new MPK 21 is part of an ongoing expansion green lighted by Menlo Park in late 2016, which includes “two new office buildings totaling 962,400 square feet [...] plus publicly-accessible open space” and was itself part of an even larger, ongoing expansion effort dating back to before 2013.