It takes a lot of clout and a lot of balls to ask flourish-happy starchitect and controversy-magnet Frank Gehry to design an "anonymous building" that "blends into the neighborhood." Apparently Facebook has enough of both, having asked Gehry, who, uh, is not exactly acclaimed for his dedication to subtlety, to draw up low-key plans for the company's 433,555-square-foot Facebook West complex in Menlo Park, Calif. Perhaps more surprising? Gehry delivered with aplomb. His renderings for Facebook's up-and-coming facility (above) show a low-slung complex seated under grassy spreads of rooftop park.
The compound is huge, for sure, but unlike, say, Gehry's ideas for the much embattled Eisenhower Memorial, it doesn't call much attention to itself. Wired says "there's no question the building will blend in well with its surroundings," and notices how the new design is congruent with Facebook's "hacker ethos, which emphasizes functionality over form." Again, they demanded Frank Gehry, the man who drafted utterly mindbending plans for Toronto and designed a zig-zaggity museum in Panama, to put form in the backseat. And everybody played along—and nicely, too. Color us impressed.
· Here's the 'Very Anonymous' Building Facebook Demanded From a Starchitect [Wired via Gawker]
· All Frank Gehry coverage. [Curbed National]