Facebook cleared to break ground on second Menlo Park campus


SAN FRANCISCO -- Frank Gehry is about to update the status of Menlo Park, Calif.

Facebook got the go-ahead this week for the architect to build a second campus there.

The City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday night to allow the giant social network to proceed.

“Where’s the ‘Like’ button?” Mayor Peter Ohtaki told Facebook officials, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The second campus is on a 22-acre site on the other side of Bayfront Expressway from its current campus. The 430,000-plus-square-foot building will stretch a third of a mile long on a single floor with a parking garage underneath and a roof park on top.

Gehry is keeping the project more low-key than the Guggenheim Museum in Spain or the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles at the request of Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.


The initial concept, which included having the building’s ends fan out like butterfly wings, has been tamed, said Craig Webb, Gehry’s partner.

“They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of the culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous,” he said.

The result will be a demure white stucco building camouflaged by greenery.

“Our intent is that it almost becomes like a hillside, with the landscape really taking the forefront,” Webb said.

A tunnel underneath Bayfront Expressway will connect Facebook’s two campuses. (The tunnel itself is a bit more colorful).

“It’s always been a priority to be very good neighbors in Menlo Park, and building a world-class piece of architecture that the community can be proud of is part of that effort,” Facebook said in an emailed statement.



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