Microsoft announces significant extension of its Redmond campus

Lynne Hanson
November 30, 2017

Microsoft is overhauling its longtime headquarters with an 18-building construction project that will make room for another 8,000 workers.

Once complete, Microsoft's main campus will consist of 131 buildings with enough room to support its 47,000 existing employees and up to 8,000 more that it'll eventually hire.

Tech giants Microsoft has announced an ambitious move to "rebuild" and "refresh" its Redmond headquarters as it seeks to create an architectural wonderland that can compete with the space-age workplaces of rivals such as Amazon and Apple. The campus revamp promises more natural light and a setting to "foster the type of creativity that will lead to ongoing innovation" writes Microsoft.

The expansion will also see the addition of a 2-acre open plaza that can fit up to 12,000 people, walking trails, soccer and cricket facilities, and retail space. The project will take roughly 5-7 years to complete, and the first building will be ready in the first five years. Further, Smith told GeekWire that the company does not intend to offload any of its downtown Bellevue space or vacate the offices in Issaquah, where it recently renewed a big lease.

The work will be done about the same time that the Redmond light-rail station opens, scheduled for 2023. The campus will be divided into "team neighborhoods". However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach.

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It is clear that Nadella is looking to revive the work culture at Microsoft, making it a little more collaborative with employees coming out of the closed-door offices and working in a more interactive environment.

"And with the Microsoft announcement, it shows that at least one major corporation believes that the Pacific Northwest has talent and can bring in more people to satisfy their needs". Ten of the structures being replaced are the original X-shaped buildings that marked the early days of Microsoft in Redmond.

Work on the campus overhaul will begin in fall 2018 and is expected to last up to seven years.

"With 500 acres, we can construct a somewhat more urban feel to parts of our campus, while still taking advantage of the nature", he said.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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