The best architects do more than create pleasant and useful spaces. Their buildings also have an agenda. That’s why, when Facebook announces that Frank Gehry will be redesigning its Menlo Park headquarters, there’s more behind the decision than, say, Zuckerberg’s craving for beanbags and luxury innovation cubes.
Gehry is sort of infamous in the tech world for his Stata Center building at MIT, which Stewart Brand called an “overpriced, overwrought, unloved, unadaptable, much sued abortion” in his essay, “‘Nobody Cares What You Do in There’: The Low Road.” Brand argued that “crappy,” hackable buildings foster creativity and the new Gehry design for Facebook, at least from what we know of it, suggests that the architect has absorbed this lesson. The central edifice, after all, is referred to in the promotional materials as a “warehouse.”