So does this first mega-building succeed in Zuckerberg’s ambition “to create the same sense of community and connection among our teams that we try to enable with our services across the world”?
A big blue thumbs-up sign stands at the entrance to 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park, California, signalling the home of the biggest social network in the world. It is an appropriately oversized symbol of positivity for a website that began just 11 years ago, but whose membership now comprises one-fifth of the entire global population, having monetised friendship into a business worth more than $200bn. Now, across the highway, stands Facebook’s latest superlative: the mother of all office park sheds, said to contain “the largest open floor plan in the world”, designed by globe-trotting titanium-crumpling starchitect, Frank Gehry.
Sadly it is a sense of community and connection that doesn’t quite extend to the prying eyes of architecture critics: my requests to visit the open-plan social utopia have been politely declined. However, thanks to Facebook’s workplace culture of compulsive sharing, we can now live the Bay Area dream vicariously through its employees’ feeds on Instagram (which, coincidentally, Facebook acquired for $1bn in 2012). And boy, they’re excited to show off their new home. Let’s take a look at a day in the life of the new office.