Facebook tried to turn down a star architect who wanted to design its futuristic new campus

When famed architect Frank Gehry — known for designing Spain’s Guggenheim Museum and Seattle’s Experience Music Project, among many other things —  heard that Facebook wanted to build an addition to its campus, he approached CEO Mark Zuckerberg and asked to design it.

Even though the team loved Gehry’s work, the company said no.

“We figured he would be very expensive and that would send the wrong signal about our culture,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Monday afternoon. Zuckerberg felt strongly that the new addition should be cost-effective and unassuming. Looking at Gehry’s imposing design history, he just didn’t seem like the right fit. 

But Gehry wouldn’t take no for an answer. 

“Frank came back to us and said we should go get other bids and that he would beat them all — and he did,” Zuckerberg writes. “As I learned, most building construction wastes a lot of materials and time due to poor planning. Frank has designed special software to assist in his architecture, so he’s very efficient.”

Facebook’s futuristic new campus ended up finishing ahead of schedule and under-budget, costing much less than any other major development planned in Silicon Valley, according to Zuckerberg.

Here’s a picture of an early model that now sits inside the actual building:

Employees started moving into the new building at the end of March and it will eventually hold 2,800 employees. 

Here’s Zuckerberg’s post:

I want to share a story as we settle into our new building at Facebook.When we first announced we were adding a…
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, 6 April 2015

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