Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s campus at Menlo Park has a pleasant environment unlike that of a typical tech office. The feel is very close to a town square or an amusement park, says Lulie Balise from The Chronicle. People could be seen all around engaged in various activities like walking, biking or waiting for food in long lines.
Facebook office or a tourist place?
Facebook outgrew its Palo Alto office, and then it moved to 1601 Willow Road in late 2011. There are nine buildings in the 1.1 million square feet complex, of which eight wrap around a courtyard. Just like the social networking giant’s Palo Alto office, the newer Menlo Park office has been designed keeping in mind the idea of giving the employees a “Main Street feel.” This site was previously occupied by Sun Microsystems.
“The Main Street is infused with amenities and is meant to encourage social interactions and collaboration among employees,” John Tenanes, director of global facilities for Facebook.
Facebook has two main eating areas that feature a variety of food items like salad bars, make-your-own sandwiches, and smoothies, among other offerings. Everything is free at these eating areas, which are popularly known among employees as Epic and Living the Dream. It is not easy to differentiate employees from tourists at the Menlo Park office, however, those seen shopping for official Facebook gear can be assumed to be tourists.
Fun activities on campus
For the fun-loving audience, the place has some Disney qualities too. Next to the Instagram office, a life-size chess set can be seen. A yellow brick road leads to a Mission District stalwart Philz Coffee. There is also a miniature cottage along the path from which a pair of witch’s legs stick out.
Facebook’s campus has lots of places to play games like ping-pong and an arcade. Besides these, there is a “Facebook Wall,” which is a vast chalkboard with several things scribbled on it. These include names of people, colleges, and several illustrations and random phrases as well.
Despite all the amenities, there are signs that suggest it’s still a tech firm’s office, such as open layouts, standing desks and dedicated areas for impromptu meetings.