Facebook’s new Seattle office will feature a large rooftop park complete with a walking trail, giant fire pit and BBQ-style dining area, plus a covered cafeteria and an outdoor events space, according to planning documents uncovered by GeekWire.
The over-the-top amenities are the latest demonstration of the lengths to which Facebook and other tech companies are going to recruit and retain talent in an increasingly competitive market for top-notch software developers.
Facebook confirmed the plans, but declined to share photos or renderings of the outdoor spaces. A Facebook spokesman did confirm the amenities and said there will be a total of three rooftop areas full of local trees and plants when the Dexter Station building is ready sometime during the first half of 2016. The outdoor spaces are being created on a series of balconies on the 7th floor of the building.
The company also shared a photo of a model depicting the inside of the new office, which will have stadium seating for larger meetings.
The unique designs aren’t completely surprising, since they were drawn up by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the same person who designed Seattle’s EMP Museum. Gehry also designed Facebook’s new Building 20 in Menlo Park, Calif. That office features a nine-acre “green roof” with a half-mile walking loop and more than 400 full grown trees.
The Seattle rooftop won’t be nearly that large, but it will be a pretty unusual space — especially for a city famous for its inclement weather.
You can already see the plans taking shape from the street, and renderings from the building’s leasing office gives some idea of size of the outdoor areas.
Facebook’s move into a new office is significant for the Seattle area, as it represents yet another Silicon Valley tech giant that’s growing an increasingly large presence in the Pacific Northwest. Google has already announced plans to double the size of its office in Kirkland, and other companies like Apple, Snapchat and Nest Labs are opening new engineering centers across the region.
Facebook had just two Seattle employees when it opened its first office here in 2010. It had 90 workers by 2010, and more than 500 when it announced its plans to move in February. The new office has room for up to 2,000 workers.