Frank Gehry has completed another one of his wretched, gehrish cartoons which he regularly swindles to the unsuspecting philistines as architecture. This time he peddled it to Mark Zuckerberg, who hired him to design a new home campus for Facebook in Menlo Park, CA.
Instead of a campus, they got a poorly functioning slab of concrete, steel, glass, plywood, spattered paint and a bit of obligatory metal siding that Gehry thinks of as a personal trademark, sort of like the Golden Arches at McDonalds.
The roof consists of a park with a ½ mile walking trail to stroll the breadth of the long narrow building. Situated right next to a highway, it provides a lovely and loud view of American pavement.
Considering Gehry’s uncanny ability to produce leaky roofs, this one won’t disappoint. Boasting over 400 trees and loads of grass, the roof is most likely leaking already and when you have a building full of computers, that’s a recipe for disaster. Just imagine the carnage after a Pacific storm passes through. The employees better get up there and enjoy the roof while it’s still open.
Also, the building is an open plan office, a design trend that has been clearly shown to be deleterious to employee health and mental well being, so maybe the final step in his design is to put up Foxconn safety nets, but made of spun titanium in the Gehry way.
Here are some instagram photos from the grand opening. Note the horrendous artwork and low-budget materials and finish. My favorite touch is the plywood brace designed to trip passersby.
Gehry describes the building as a “remarkably human environment” with a “toughness” and “rawness”. In other words, it’s a cheap, crappy, industrial box that will be torn down in 20 years.