Mark Zuckerberg never saw Facebook as the kind of company that would commission a big-shot starchitect to build its new campus. It's a very popular thing to do in Silicon Valley, but Facebook was more interested in building a headquarters that was "unassuming, matter-of-fact and cost effective." When Frank Gehry, who is known for exactly none of those things, first offered to design the company's 430,000-square-foot complex, the Facebook founder actually turned him down. "We figured he would be very expensive and that would send the wrong signal about our culture," Zuckerberg revealed in a Facebook post this week.
But Gehry kept wooing Zuckerberg, who eventually caved. The starchitect made a few uncharacteristic offers, saying he would match any bid that another firm submitted. According to Zuckerberg: "It ended up costing us much less than any other major developments planned in Silicon Valley and taking way less time to build." The resulting building, however, is as far from "unassuming" as you can get. It is wildly colorful, and involves a temporary adult ballpoint.
Here's how Zuckerberg tells the story:
Here's what the new Facebook campus looks like:
Me and my fraaaanndsss at work today! This floor to ceiling mural was painted by artist @chrislux and as you could guess I am obsessed with the colors. It has a graffiti feel but is inspired by visual arts and history, mythologies and fresco painting. Wow! This is one of 15 murals here and I hope to learn more about the remaining 14! Who wants to join in on the fun!? #MPK20muraltour #MPK20 #MPK20firstlook
Some of Frank Gehry's signature metal panelling at the new @facebook HQ! However for this building he used his style in a much more linear and geometric way versus his other "folded paper" look. Mark Zuckerberg wanted something that still felt unfinished and a work in progress. The sun setting was reflecting all kinds of colors the night before the buildings opening! #MPK20 #MPK20firstlook #strideby
The new Frank Gehry building at sunset is one of the most beautiful structures I've seen. Another fun fact about the building - all of the glass is etched so that birds don't fly into the windows. Clever, huh? Also, I'm very excited to announce that Business Insider, 7x7, Gizmodo, and Fast Company covered our visit and featured our photos! So unreal! Check out the links to the features! http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-new-campus-pictures-2015-3?op=1 http://m.7x7.com/tech/facebook-moves-cool-new-frank-gehry-designed-headquarters#/0 http://gizmodo.com/facebook-is-using-famous-instagrammers-to-reveal-its-ne-1694542553 http://m.fastcompany.com/3044389/a-first-look-at-facebooks-new-mothership-designed-by-frank-gehry #MPK20firstlook #communityfirst
· Mark Zuckerberg Praises Frank Gehry: "He's Very Efficient" [Arch Daily]
· First Look Inside the Frank Gehry-Designed Facebook Campus in Silicon Valley [Curbed National]
· Facebook's New Frank Gehry-Designed Office: High Line or Hobbit Walmart? [Curbed SF]
· All Facebook HQ coverage [Curbed National]
· All Frank Fucking Gehry posts [Curbed National]
· All Office Spaces posts [Curbed National]