Facebook's Sprawling New HQ Designed by Frank Gehry
In an age where cities hire architects to design new icons to lure tourists or boost civic pride, and corporations erect skyscrapers that top out at dizzying heights, one of the world's most valuable technology companies known for its global influence, brash young CEO and forward-thinking attitude has settled on a new headquarters building that will remain largely hidden from passersby. Social media behemoth Facebook's decision seems even more counterintuitive considering the architect tapped to design the HQ: Frank Gehry, arguably the world's most famous architect and known more for his flamboyant, steel-clad structures that range from an iconic museum in Bilbao, Spain, to an 860-foot residential skyscraper towering over the Lower Manhattan skyline. CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly insisted on a low-key design, which will be largely hidden from the highway that passes in front of it. Parking will be consolidated underneath the new structure, and a sprawling green roof with grass and trees will help it blend into the surrounding landscape. Gehry's flourishes can be seen in the renderings, but it's a far cry from his band shell in Chicago or the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles—which is exactly what the world's most ubiquitous tech company wanted, as it turns out.