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Facebook plans an eight-acre green roof on the West Campus headquarters building it proposes to construct in Menlo Park across from its current headquarters. The company hired noted architect Frank Gehry to design a 430,000-square-foot building that can house 2,800 employees in one cavernous room in the 1,565-foot long structure. The vegetated roof, about 45 feet above grade, will have lawns, meadows, gardens and potentially more than 300 trees. The roof, where soil will be deeper than four feet in some areas, will include paved gathering areas, outdoor dining, a half-mile walking path and space for a special events tent. The building is designed to integrate with the surrounding natural landscape. “The green roof will be both functional and aesthetic. We build our campuses so that they promote activity—people sitting outside, eating together, or walking around,” said a company spokesman.[contextly_sidebar id=”e64c4ec3b56eeed7b1d8d8d3b6309da1″]Not far away, in Mountain View, Google also planned living roofs at a nine-building campus it wants to construct near its Googleplex headquarters. Construction has been put on hold.
At the San Francisco 49ers new Levi’s Stadium set to open in 2014, there will be a green roof atop the suite tower overlooking the field. The 27,000-square-foot roof will feature native vegetation and will serve as a year-round event space that can host 500 people to 700 people while offering a view of the surrounding valley.
In San Francisco, at the Transbay Transit Center, which is under construction, a 5.4-acre rooftop park will provide gardens, trails, grassy areas, lily ponds and an amphitheater. There will be oaks, redwood trees and diverse vegetation, providing a lush spot in the heart of a dense city. “People will be able to get off city streets, have a place to exercise, have a cup of coffee, be outdoors yet be in the heart of San Francisco,” said landscape architect Paul Kephardt of Rana Creek Inc. in Monterey, who participated in the initial concept design team. “It cleans storm water, freshens air, provides habitat, provides an amenity not otherwise available.”
Photography by Laura Kudritzki