Get ready for some serious office envy unless you're lucky enough to work at one of these new offices.
Knock on wood in Minneapolis
Meet the U.S.'s tallest modern-era mass timber office building. Developer Hines Interests wanted to pay homage to the neighborhood's history as a shipping industry center and to blend in with the look of other buildings in what is now known as the Warehouse Historic District.
The seven-story T3 (“Timber, Technology, Transit”) building opened for business late last year and uses spruce-pine-fir, nail-laminated timber panels and spruce glulam as its primary materials. Designers carried the look of natural wood throughout the 220,000-square-foot building but also included modern amenities like showers for employees choosing to bike to work, as well a barbecue spot on the rooftop deck. Hines is in the initial planning stages for a similar wood office building in Chicago.
Facebook updates its status
Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design the expansion of its Menlo Park, California headquarters, and first looks have the starchitect's deconstructed signature all over it. The social media company is planning two new buildings totaling almost 1 million square feet, a 200-key hotel and a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that will link the campus to surrounding communities. The building costs alone are estimated at more than $550 million. The 6,500 new employees who will descend on Menlo Park when the project is complete (by 2020) will be able enjoy movie nights and other events in the company's 23,000-square-foot public park right alongside the locals.
A LEED Platinum clover grows in California
The Central & Wolfe 18-acre technology campus in Sunnyvale, California, is a showstopper when it comes to design. Three of the four buildings are connected and resemble a three-leaf clover from above, especially with green rooftops, which could provide an extra mile of walking trails. The three buildings, leftovers from the 1970s, have been revamped to meet today's high-tech and LEED Platinum requirements.
Designers moved most of the parking underground and to a standalone garage, and developer Landbank dedicated more than half of the site to park-like green spaces that include pedestrian and bike paths.
Each building features a courtyard, and a two-story amenity building houses everything from restaurants to banks. But it looks like tech companies wanting to hang their shingles there in November 2017, when construction is scheduled to be complete, are out of luck: Apple, which has its Campus 2 project underway about 10 minutes north, reportedly leased all 770,000 square feet last September.
Kim Slowey is a writer who has been active in the construction industry for 25 years and is licensed as a certified general contractor in Florida. She received her BA in Mass Communications/Journalism from the University of South Florida and has experience in both commercial and residential construction.
Photo Credit: Central & Wolfe