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Legendary architect Frank Gehry tapped to design Facebook's Menlo Park extension

Facebook has announced that its new Menlo Park campus extension will be designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

In a blog post, Everett Katigbak, Facebook's environmental design manager, said he first met with Gehry and his team several months ago at the architect's Los Angeles office.

"His office is a giant warehouse overflowing with handmade, wooden models juxtaposed with state-of-the-art architecture software (some of which is designed by Frank's in-house team)," Katigbak wrote. "His teams are filled with people who are unbelievably talented and love what they do. The whole thing reminded me of Facebook, so that when I met Frank, I already knew he was a perfect fit for us."

To that end, Facebook's new extension will also be "a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse." The social network plans to break ground in early 2013 and proceed with a "quick construction." Eventually, the structure will house about 2,800 engineers.

Katigbak said Gehry has taken into account Facebook's engineering culture. No cubicles or corner offices here. "Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects," Katigbak wrote.

Nothing fuels creativity like snacks, so Gehry has also provided for cafes and small kitchens. There will also be "break-away spaces" with couches and whiteboards for relaxation or brainstorming sessions.

Outside, Katigbak promised "tons of trees on the grounds" as well as a rooftop garden. "The raw, unfinished look of our buildings means we can construct them quickly and with a big emphasis on being eco-friendly," he said.

An underground tunnel will connect the Gehry building to Facebook's current campus.

Facebook first announced plans to move from Palo Alto to Menlo Park in February 2011, and started relocating last summer. The campus currently covers 57 acres and includes nine buildings with about one million square feet. It was built between 1993 and 1995 and housed Sun employees until the company was acquired by Oracle in 2009. Facebook also bought an adjacent, 22-acre tract at 312 and 314 Constitution Drive that is accessible via a tunnel underneath the Bayfront Expressway.

In May, Facebook was granted permission by city officials to hire up to 6,600 workers on the California campus. Facebook will pay the city of Menlo Park an average of $850,000 (£538,000) a year for 10 years, to cover the impact of additional workers on city infrastructure.

Gehry is known for structures like: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the MIT Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and more.