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Facebook opens its new ‘unassuming’ but actually really swish Menlo Park campus

Some Facebook staff are beginning to relocate to the company’s flashy new Menlo Park complex, a Frank Gehry-designed site built for around 2,800 employees.

Known as MPK 20, the building offers some 430,000 square feet of interior space, with employees reportedly able to see pretty much end to end. In fact, when plans for the project were first announced back in 2012, there was talk of the layout making Facebook home to the largest open-plan office in the world.

The most striking feature of the eco-friendly site looks to be its expansive rooftop garden, which has been likened to Manhattan’s elevated High Line park. Ideal as a space for workers to dream up the next big Facebook feature, the park comprises around 9 acres of grassland, some 400 trees, and a walking course about half-a-mile long.

Known for his work on LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, acclaimed architect Frank Gehry said Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was keen on a campus that was “unassuming, matter-of-fact, and cost effective,” adding, “He did not want it overly designed.”

Before work on the site started, Zuckerberg wrote of his desire to “make the perfect engineering space: one giant room that fits thousands of people, all close enough to collaborate together.”

The social networking giant hasn’t shown off any interior shots of its new home yet, but we’ll be sure to post them when it does. Facebook is continuing to use its other Menlo Park premises just across the highway. In fact, the two buildings have been joined by an underground walkway for easy access.

Facebook’s plush new office complex opens at a time when many other big tech firms are embarking on similar projects. Work on Apple’s much-talked-about ‘spaceship’ campus is well underway in Cupertino, while Google and Amazon are also busy working on plans for new workspaces.