Facebook's swanky new HQ is an old '60s laboratory

Facebook has consolidated the entirety of its Palo Alto operation — some 700 employees strong — into an old laboratory from the 1960s, done up all pretty by San Fransisco's Studio O+A. What's that do for them? Well, besides running a tighter ship, they get to enjoy all of the benefits of a pimped-out office, such as walls left blank to write on, plenty of comfy seating and a kitchen that offers "gourmet meals to staff at all hours."

They also get to take advantage of those industrial leftovers, though, which brings us to my favorite table in the Facebook offices — it's the first picture in the gallery below. The table only has a set of supports on one side of it. The rest of it is held up by a miniature crane, and the entire thing moves allowing the workspace to be wheeled around. Another cool detail: the head dudes are centrally located instead of in some penthouse, and they are accessible by any of the employees since the space is nice and open.

Check out the gallery below to see more of the Facebook offices, and learn more in a press release after the jump.

From Studio O+A:

Employees of Facebook recently moved to a new headquarters that facilitates interaction and connection, reflecting the company's mission as a social networking website provider.

Formerly a laboratory facility for high-tech manufacturer Agilent Technologies, the 150,000-square-foot structure at Palo Alto's Stanford Research Park brings together more than 700 employees originally scattered throughout 10 locations in and around downtown Palo Alto.

The design of the space relied heavily on input from the users, appropriate for a flatly structured company that weights every employee's opinion equally. O+A designers interviewed employees about what they wanted from their new headquarters.

The Facebook platform was used to conduct company-wide polls about design decisions, post construction photos and updates, and keep everyone informed of the thought process behind the project.

An advisory board of employees from every department collaborated with the design team on the design process, from space planning to finishes to final move coordination.

Because the new facility houses employees coming from various locations, the company wanted to maintain each division's distinct identity. The design takes its inspiration from the patchwork nature of Facebook users and employees, bringing together seemingly disparate elements to form a cohesive pattern and using color and interior spacing to create neighborhoods within the open plan space.

The company's executives sit in central areas, accessible to all employees. Large lounges and open spaces provide venues for the community to come together.
A kitchen and café continue Facebook's tradition of providing gourmet meals to staff at all hours, while drinks and snacks are available at micro-kitchens throughout the headquarters.

Reflecting employees' desire for a green headquarters, the facility is the first commercial project completed under Palo Alto's 2008 Green Building Ordinance, making extensive use of existing architectural features, recycling millwork from the original lab, and repurposing industrial components for post-industrial use.

Other sustainable features include high recycled-content carpet and energy-efficient lighting.

The design goal for the new facility was to maintain the history and raw aesthetic of the building and create a fun dynamic appropriate for the company's youthful staff.

Via Dezeen