Thursday, April 07, 2011

Facebook Location

Aerial view of San Quentin State Prison, in Sa...Image via Wikipedia
New York Times: A Corporate Campus Made to Mirror Facebook: Facebook, which started out in a dormitory at Harvard, transferred to a rented house in Silicon Valley and now occupies a cluster of office buildings in Palo Alto, Calif., is about to make its biggest move yet: to a 57-acre campus in this small city about 30 miles south of San Francisco. ...... a series of stucco-covered low-rise buildings occupied by Sun Microsystems until Sun was bought ...... s. The campus will resemble an urban streetscape, with cafeterias .... if the campus will be a microcosm of a city, it’s not clear that the real city around the campus — including the largely Mexican-American neighborhood of Belle Haven ....... the Facebook site is surrounded on three sides by water, and separated from the rest of Menlo Park by railroad tracks and a divided highway. ..... The site is so insular that in the two decades it was occupied by Sun Microsystems it was nicknamed Sun Quentin (a reference to San Quentin prison, about 40 miles north). And because Facebook provides its employees with three meals a day in its own cafeterias, there may be little reason for them to venture off the property. ..... the city, which has a population of about 30,000 ..... Sun had 3,600 employees on site; Facebook, with a work force that is growing by 50 percent a year, could exceed that number ...... because Sun’s engineers had private offices, while most Facebook employees work in unpartitioned spaces ...... they can’t have more than 3,600 employees until they get City Council approval. ..... leasing with an option to buy .... walking and biking paths and greater access to public transportation and the wetlands alongside the Facebook site. ..... One team, charged with connecting the Facebook site to the rest of Menlo Park, devised an elevated ringlike walkway that links the campus to the Belle Haven neighborhood, a proposed transit station and the San Francisco Bay waterfront. The architects named it Friends Circle. (Though Belle Haven is a tidy neighborhood, many of the homes are small and flimsy-looking.) ...... Contractors have already replaced rows of small offices in one of the Sun buildings with a loftlike space where desks will be pushed together in groups of four. “We like that you can sit at one end and see all the way to the other,” said Mr. Tenanes, showing off a section of building that had been stripped to concrete and ductwork .... “protecting Facebook’s extraordinary company culture.” ...... he liked the “casual eclectic” look of the firm’s Ace Hotel ..... (The Ace crowd, which tends toward 20somethings with laptops, mirrors the Facebook employees’ demographic.) Unlike the Sun campus, with color-coordinated buildings reminiscent of an upscale resort, Facebook is looking for “an urban streetscape where no one architect or designer” dominates, Mr. Tenanes said. “Random is good” ....... Facebook wanted there to be "life and soul and some idiosyncrasy to the campus.” ...... “They don’t want to buy into that corporate structure,” she said. “They want to continue to feel hungry." ..... Currently, about 40 percent of Facebook employees commute to work on foot or bicycle or by bus (including some provided by the company), Mr. Tenanes said. For those employees, the remote location of the new site will pose a challenge. But he is already planning bus routes and considering opening a pedestrian tunnel that was dug but never used under the Bayfront Expressway, the highway that separates the campus from the rest of Menlo Park. (In case it outgrows the Sun property, Facebook bought a 22-acre site across the road.)
The key phrase here is urban streetscape. Facebook wants its campus to look and feel like New York City. My bias for the city just got stronger. New York City is the place to be.

The other key phrase is unpartitioned spaces.

Something tells me this is not the final space Facebook will occupy. Facebook will soon be looking for a Microsoft size campus. I don't know the area well enough to suggest where that might be. Belle Haven is what you see on your way to that final destination.

My idea of a great office space: a happening place like Chinatown, a huge floor that is just this one big open space, and it has one gigabit per second kind of internet access. There is no point in trying to recreate the city. You don't leave the city. New York City can not be recreated.

Having Kenya And Chinatown Thoughts

I have nothing against Mexicans, but I want my city to be Mexicans and everyone else. All Mexican is as bad as all white. I ask for Color.

I like the interior. But for the exterior I prefer New York.

Wait, did I just read they also bought 22 acres nearby? In that case this might be the final Facebook campus.

A Social Graph For When Everyone Is Connected

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: