Facebook Seattle confirmed this morning that it will be moving into a big new office building on Dexter Avenue in Seattle — with room for as many as 2,000 employees.
The space will be designed by Frank Gehry, said Paul Carduner, the Facebook Seattle site lead, who announced the plans at a media briefing this morning. The renowned architect, known in Seattle for his design of the EMP Museum, has also done work for Facebook at locations including its California headquarters.
“We’re super-excited to have this space — it’s been a long time coming,” Carduner said.
He also announced that office topped 500 employees in Seattle as of last week, cementing its position as the social networking giant’s largest engineering outpost outside of its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
The company will initially lease 274,000 square feet in the Dexter Station building, at 1101 Dexter Ave., with the option to lease an additional 62,000 square feet, Carduner said. Facebook is expected to move to the new space in early 2016, Carduner said.
Carduner noted that Facebook specifically doesn’t install ceiling panels in its office. “That’s to remind us that our work is never finished, just like the space we work in,” he said. One reporter asked: Will Gehry go along with that?
“He’s down with that, yeah. I think Mark convinced him,” said Carduner, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The company currently leases just under 100,000-square-feet across six floors at the Metropolitan Park complex in Seattle. The company’s new total of more than 500 employees is up from just two employees when Facebook opened in Seattle in 2010, and 90 employees when it moved to its current building in the city in 2012.
Carduner became the Facebook Seattle site lead last year, moving up from the company’s headquarters. He joined Facebook in 2010 when the company acquired the photo startup Divvyshot.com, where he was an early employee.
Facebook is part of a wave of Silicon Valley companies that have expanded to the Seattle region by opening engineering offices here. Facebook’s Seattle office spans a wide range of products, including voice calling, the Atlas advertising technology, Facebook platform, app installation ads, infrastructure, search and video.