Facebook | MPK20 + MPK21

Menlo Park, CA

An expansive rooftop park simultaneously integrates and contrasts landscape and architecture.

Stepping from the edge of the bay, MPK 20 and 21 – the two completed buildings on the Bayfront Campus – provide opportunities for diverse outdoor spaces and a range of ways to experience them. The integration of the buildings and landscape responds to the site and program needs. The landscape pulls through the building to active courtyards and gardens at the office level, climbs up terraces where drought and wind tolerant plant communities cluster along the edges, and emerges onto the roof as a wild and expansive park. This movement reveals the synthesis of built and natural systems and helps foster connections between employees and their broader environment. Art, ecology, and social spaces are thoughtfully interwoven to create a vital and biodiverse habitat.

The first building, MPK 20, was conceived as one big room. Its flexible and open workspace is designed on a single level with parking set below the structure and a sprawling, 9-acre green roof above. A series of wide terraces allow breakout spaces and outdoor dining directly off the workspace. Stairs, ramps, and elevators distributed throughout the building provide access to the roof and a series of pop-downs, pop-ups, and sunken gardens animate the landscape, visually connecting it with the interior. While this strategy opens up wide view opportunities and allows more roof space for deeper and continuous planting, it also inadvertently limits the number of people using the park, as there few opportunities to physically access the roof garden from within the building. MPK 21 elaborates and expands upon these initial gestures, intelligently adapting approaches to circulation, light volume, social spaces, pedestrian comfort, and plant selection based on valuable performance observations at MPK 20.