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S E C T I O N 2 Business August 3, 2011 ■ A L S O INSIDE C A L E N DA R 2 4 | R E A L E S TAT E 2 5 | C L A S S I F I E D S 2 9 irst look facebook’s new home from the inside out by sandy brundage | almanac staff writer i f any office building has that coveted “new car” smell, it’s Facebook’s renovated Menlo Park headquarters. Earlier this year the social networking giant signed a 15-year leaseback agreement for a 1-million-square-foot, 11-building campus that used to house Sun and Oracle employees. It also bought two nearby lots on Constitution Drive, linked to the 57-acre Sun campus by a pedestrian tunnel under the Bayfront Expressway. That gives Facebook the growing room to triple the number of employees to 6,100. The Almanac was the first newspaper to tour the renovated campus, on July 27, just days before the first 500 employees left the Palo Alto office behind to move in to Menlo Park. Building 10 is still so new to them that they sometimes get lost. Arrows scribbled on a wall point out “IT This Way ... Not THAT Way.” Once someone navigates the labyrinth of polished concrete hallways to arrive at tech support, they’ll find a TV and PlayStation to ease the wait time until their computer’s fixed — after construction’s done. On Wednesday workers were measuring the space to figure out how to install a wall that will swing open like a garage door on to a central courtyard. Employees didn’t waste time before leaving their mark on the building: An exquisitely sketched pink elephant trumpeted from one blackboard wall; one worker found the perfect spot to display a short brown wig; a flower chalked in pastels climbed another blackboard. Plywood partitions screened some areas while climbing ropes fenced off others, the contribution of a contractor who climbs in his spare time. Adding clothespins to hold notes will let the ropes double as a messageboard. Overhead, ceiling ductwork looked stark, matching the undisguised industrial feel of the office space. The micro kitchen sported decidedly low-tech chairs — the plastic yellow and black seats match those in school cafeterias around the country. hacking design Facebook’s blue and white logos are instantly recognizable online. But that clean color scheme doesn’t appear at headquarters. Instead, vibrancy pops from random walls and floors. One conference room boasts a wall painted the exact yellow of a No. 2 pencil. Pointing to a scratch marring Photos courtesy of Facebook Above left: A meeting space at Facebook’s new home. Near the orange chair, climbing ropes provide a partition that can double as a message board. At right: A phone booth stands ready for a private call — or Superman — at Facebook’s new headquarters. the scarlet paint of the room’s door, John Tenanes, real estate director, said the team re-used everything it could from materials left behind by Sun. Ceiling tiles, company emblems etched in glass, “even the doors aren’t new,” he said. Cozies — nooks set aside for intimate chats — were mostly empty on Wednesday afternoon, giving them more than a passing resemblance to IKEA showrooms, only without the “Buy this room for $299.99!” signs. Mr. Tenanes declined to put a price tag on the renovations, but said that re-using materials made the process “very cost efficient. We do more with less.” One favorite spot of lead designer Everett Katigbak contained a yellow chair next to a huge black pillow on an elevated floor, a space he described as feeling like “an elevated weird meditation space.” The cozies address one of the most requested features — more intimate meeting spaces. If that’s still not tiny enough, scattered phone booths stand ready for private calls, while on the other end of the scale, the second floor’s larger areas can host 300 people at a time. Videoconferencing equipment located throughout the building can even expand Continued on page 23 August 3, 2011 N The Almanac N21

The Almanac 08.03.2011 - Section 2

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