With Facebook recently topping 10,000 employees, growing its ranks 48 percent in the past year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg needed a new building.
In March, Facebook opened the doors on the new space, which Zuckerberg partnered on with Frank Gehry—and it just opened its doors to CNBC’s cameras for the first time.
Gehry created the world’s largest open floor plan in the world, and Facebook commissioned local artists to decorate it. The 430,000 square-foot space fits 2,800 employees, and Zuckerberg has a desk right in the middle.
The goal of the building—MPK20 (for Menlo Park Campus building 20)—was to be to create a space that’s eco-friendly and reflects Facebook’s mission to connect people.
“It really creates an environment where people can collaborate; they can innovate together. There’s a lot of spontaneity in the way people bump into each other, just a really fun collaborative creative space,” said Lori Goler, the company’s chief people officer.
“You can’t really can’t walk through this space without bumping into people,” she said.
What really distinguishes the building is its nine-acre green roof, with a half-mile walking loop, 400 full-grown trees, plus whiteboards, WiFi, and plenty of places to sit, so employees can work al fresco. There are over 100,000 native plants to insulate the building, which minimizes heating and cooling costs. While the Adirondack chairs seem like they could invite a nap, Goler said the roof is designed for both work and play. “No one pays attention to how much someone is working or isn’t working. The more efficiently you can deliver results, the better. The roof gives you some head space.”
And as Goler works to hire the best people in a competitive environment, the investment Facebook’s made in expanding its campus is a draw. “This building and everything we do is a reflection of the fact that we are investing in our people. Our people are the most important part of this company.”