You probably very much well know that Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, but do you know what goes on inside those headquarters? Well, Microsoft is now giving the world a glimpse into two of its buildings, yet at the same time is also showing off how the headquarters have evolved alongside with the company.
Inside Microsoft headquarters are Buildings 16 and 17, home to the Cloud and Enterprise teams. Recently, these two buildings have been remodeled to reflect the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, as well as Microsoft’s new range of way of empowering employees to getting things done. Overall, these buildings are all office free and have a range of working environments.
So, in these buildings, instead of working in offices, employees and executives in these buildings work in shared “neighborhoods” roam in hallways, then meet in atriums designed to capture and perpetuate light. In a Microsoft blog post describing the buildings, Jochen Liesche, a business manager for the Data platform group (who helped with the redesign) said,
“Its a new look for the new Microsoft. I think ultimatley the physical space really represents the culture here. It’s almost as if the physical space is a proxy for the company’s mission and its culture.”
Buildings 16 and 17 also incorporate natural materials and elements and colors meant to mimic nature. Walls and ceilings are angled, and along with topographical maps, there are over 20 shades of green and blue on the wall. In the lobby of Building 16 is a digital art installation named “The Cube,” which emits a warm techno-hum. The Cube changes colors throughout the day to reflect the changes in time. Inside, a staircase takes employees and visitors to the center of the cube, where a Kinect sensor will change scenery based on the people it sees in the staircase.
The building also sports “coves” which are a secluded space for reflection. The area is a comfortable hangout with hack backed loungers and a hanging basket chairs, as well as a place to plug in a phone or laptop.
Alongside “Coves” the building also features a “No Tech Lounge” where employees can rest their minds and come back with fresh ideas. A little far down the way is also the Xbox Lounge, a spacious room with stadium seating, cabinets full of video games, and two large, flat-screen televisions. Here, employees can further disconnect and rest their minds.
Also inside on the second-floor atrium of Building 16 is a pair of fancy espresso machines, and the Building 16 café, which features a french bakery. The café even serves Pizza, salad, and unique daily dishes.
Lastly, outside, is a courtyard which has bricks and metal tiles. Almost like a Hollywood walk of fame, there, each metal plaque marks the name and date of a famous Microsoft product.
This building sure sounded interesting to us, so we would like to know what you think of this piece of Microsoft architecture. Please comment below to let us know your thoughts on Buildings 16 and 17!