Frank Gehry’s latest office building at Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ opens

Menlo Park Facebook office Frank Gehry
MPK 21 is a new office building designed with sustainability and teamwork as the priority
(Image credit: designed by Frank Gehr)

A new office building at Facebook's headquarters at Menlo Park by Frank Gehry has opened. Named MK21, the office building was designed and built in less than 18 months and has a focus on sustainability.

The building is an extension to MK20, a previous building that completed in 2015. ‘All the things we learned doing building 20 prepared us for building 21,’ says Gehry in a video released by Facebook on the project. ‘We were getting lessons in Facebook culture and we’re making a new kind of architecture within that culture.’

Among the improvements and enhancements to the extended design, rooflines were updated to bring in more natural light, the roof garden was brought down into the office space and the circulation was concentrated to the heart of the building into a central channel.

Aiming to have a minimal impact on its environment and bring back nature to its formerly industrial context, MK21 includes a reclaimed water system – designed to save approximately 17 million gallons annually. Solar power supports activities at MPK 21, where there is a 1.4-megawatt photo-voltaic solar panel system on the roof and on the carports.

Nature and wildlife are embraced by the design that features fritted windows to protect birds as well as a 3.6 acre rooftop garden featuring over 200 trees and a half-mile meandering pathway, helping employees to unwind and relax.

The Bowl Terrace designed by Frank Gehry at Facebook HQ Menlo Park

The outdoor social terrace for employees named ‘The Bowl’ at Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ

(Image credit: designed by Frank Gehry)

Other outdoor social spaces filled with green plants and scenic landscape design include the ‘Town Square’, a sheltered green space with soaring 12m-high redwood trees, while ‘The Bowl’ is a courtyard designed like an amphitheatre to connect MPK 21 with the earlier deisgned MPK20, also designed by Gehry.

The office interior was designed with teamwork and collaboration as a priority. The offices are open plan, yet also include designated areas for quiet, independent work. A single pathway runs the length of the building like a stem connecting each part of the office. Following the path will unfold five dining rooms, 15 art installations and a vast event and meeting space.

Facebook continues to add to the Menlo Park hub and plan the completion of a two-acre park with public plaza and event space for 2019. This will also include a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Bayfront Expressway for the whole community.

Frank Gehry’s latest office building exterior

(Image credit: designed by Frank Gehry)

Frank Gehry’s latest office building

(Image credit: designed by Frank Gehry)

Inside Frank Gehry’s latest office building

(Image credit: designed by Frank Gehry)

For more information, visit the Gehry Partners website

Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.