The largest buildings in Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, Buildings 16 and 17 have undergone an extensive modernization that creates an office-free environment.
Microsoft has dedicated blog post to discussing the design of its Buildings 16 and 17 at the company’s Redmond headquarters.
A modern refurbishment of the two biggest buildings at casa de Microsoft has offered a juxtaposition of contemporary airy design on the inside and old school practicality of the exterior.
Buildings 16 and 17 were designed in the 1980s when Microsoft was aiming for the stars, they are an expression of functionality.
Thirty years later, Microsoft has been one of the de facto tech giants for three decades and the company is embracing a modern workplace for its employees.
While Microsoft is very much a tech grandfather these days, the company is keeping up with newer dotcom giants like Google with a workplace that is as much entertainment club as it is office. Building 16 and 17 now have standing desks, a gourmet café, pool and ping pong tables, an Xbox Lounge, and even free drinks for employees to enjoy.
The buildings are described as office-free by Microsoft, which means there is no one set way to work, with group work between employees encouraged. The company says it has shared rooms called “neighborhoods” and glass and open spaces have been created to offer an inviting collaborating environment for employees.
“It’s a new look for the new Microsoft,” said Jochen Liesche, a business manager for the Data Platform group who helped with the redesign. “I think ultimately 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,” he said.