Frank Gehry’s designs have returned to Seattle—he was the mind behind the Experience Music Project near Seattle Center—in a new way. As the 10-story office space for Facebook continues to take shape, Gehry’s plans give rise to the growing office space of the California-based company.
Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Facebook turned to Gehry to design its 430,000-square-ft building there, so it wasn’t a major surprise that Gehry was brought in to help with the 335,000-square-ft 10-story Dexter Station location in Seattle’s South Lake Union.
Employees have already started moving into the space, focusing on floors five through eight, even though the company has plans to occupy all 10 floors moving forward. With JTM Construction the general contractor and LMN Architects the Dexter Station architect, Venture General Contracting handled Facebook’s location.
Interior design of the Dexter Station location exposes the elements, with cement floors, wood beams, open ceilings with exposed ductwork and spacious work areas. The main design feature includes a central staircase through multiple floors kept open for the ability for employees to have connections throughout floors and departments.
The open-style work area across multiple floors carries over to the employee set-up, allowing for a mix-and-match of needs. Conference rooms have whiteboard walls and the latest technology and smaller workspaces allow employees to move from their desk to a themed area if desired.
A recent media tour of the space revealed a soundproof room, vending machines filled with technology (batteries to headphones) and a hot tub filled with balls that includes a view of Lake Union.
As Gehry has said: “We’ve carefully tried to represent the philosophy of Mark Zuzkerberg in the spaces that we’ve created. We have worked hard to create a working environment that is helpful to the mission of Facebook; one that is open and flexible to quick change as is required in a business that’s moving as fast as they are moving. We want the company to be in continuous compatibility with its environment.”
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.