Facebook’s Headquarters, located on the fringe of San Francisco Bay in Silicon Valley, is situated in a rapidly evolving and liminal landscape. To the North, a sublime expanse of salt flats gives way to the Bay. To the South, a rail corridor divides the Bayfront Campus from a single family residential neighborhood. Historically, the site was part of tidal wetland system that defined much of the South Bay. Beginning in the early 1900’s, the adjacent bay lands were diked and divided into salt flats for the production of industrial salts. As Silicon Valley grew, the fringe between the rail corridor and bay were filled, a new expressway was built, and the site was developed for light industrial and office uses.
Several innovative companies occupied the site before relocating in the early 2000’s, leaving an underutilized and brownfield site. The adjacent salt flats were decommissioned in the 1990s, and in the intervening years have become habitat for several endangered species. The result is a complex mosaic of industry, ecology and infrastructure – a post-industrial site that is in many respects marginal, disconnected and unforgiving. The planning and design of the Headquarters responds to this challenging context with a series of inventive solutions that build on Facebook’s culture to create a vibrant and sustainable workplace.