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The rooftop deck at Facebook Seattle, complete with fire pit and walking trails. (Photo: Kevin Lisota)
The rooftop deck at Facebook Seattle, complete with fire pit and walking trails. (Photo: Kevin Lisota)

We just finished our first tour of Facebook’s new engineering center in Seattle, and here’s the upshot: the rest of the region’s tech community will have a hard time topping this.

Of course, it helps when you have Frank Gehry on your side. The renowned architect and his team, best known in Seattle for their work on the EMP Museum, worked hand-in-hand with Facebook executives on the new engineering office at 1101 Dexter Avenue.

[Also see our tour of the space with Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer.]

Features include an open stairwell that connects all of the occupied floors. Facebook modified the original design of the building to significantly expand the stairwells, to create a stronger feeling of openness throughout the space. Employees are already calling them the “Hogwarts” stairs, with an intricate design reminiscent of Harry Potter’s school stairway.

Facebook Seattle office

Desks throughout the new Facebook Seattle office are also arranged in uneven patterns to further enhance collaboration. But the real prize is the rooftop deck, with fire pits, overhead heaters and a reliable WiFi connection to keep employees engaged with their work.

Facebook Seattle office

Facebook is currently occupying four floors of the 10-story building, with plans to move into additional floors over the course of the next year. Facebook executives say the company now employs 1,000 people in the region, and the building will ultimately house up to 2,000.

See our earlier story for more background, and see the gallery of below for photos from our tour, taken by GeekWire contributor Kevin Lisota.

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