Facebook MPK20

Menlo Park, CA

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

Facebook’s MPK20 is a new workspace for 2,800 employees, all housed on one level, with parking on-grade below the building and topped by a 9-acre rooftop park. Working with Gehry Partners, CMG reimagined the building as landscape, where mature trees above determine the structure below. The rooftop is designed as an immersive and naturalistic environment – a place where, despite the scale, one can feel enclosed. As in cinematic direction, views of the roof and landscape beyond are framed, creating a sequence of experiences as one moves through the landscape.

Organized around a half-mile loop, a network of paths weaves through and around planting areas, providing a sense of discovery. Designed to accommodate walking meetings and casual conversations, the landscape provides a place of respite with gathering spaces, cafes, and meeting nooks interspersed throughout. Inspired by the adjacent salt flats, the ground plane of the roof is based on a fractal-like pattern that is overlaid by native plant communities. Subtle shifts in topography reinforce the pattern and create variation on an otherwise flat roof. Flowing from the ground level up and over the structure, bands of trees bind the site and building together and configure views and experiences.

The technical parameters of building a park on a roof required intensive design and construction engineering, combining ecological design with constructed landscape systems. The building and rooftop were designed in an immense physical model and supported by complex digital tools.

Moments where the architecture emerges from the dense canopy of trees create distinct moments, revealing the synthesis of built and natural systems. This hybrid aims to connect employees with the broader environment and reframe how they think about buildings and landscapes.