|Photo by: Jelson25 via Wikimedia Commons|
Microsoft has just announced that it is embarking on a major expansion and modernization of its headquarters located in Redmond, Washington that is expected to take seven years to complete.
The project will turn the Redmond campus into a small city with a two-acre open plaza that will hold soccer at cricket fields, retail space, and walking and running trails. This area will be able to hold 12,000 people.
With a vision to provide an open and less formal environment, an underground parking will be built for motor vehicles so that the campus can be navigated on foot or on bicycles.
The campus, which will be divided into two "team neighborhoods", will be linked by a new bridge crossing over the WA-520 that pedestrians and cyclists could use. A Redmond Technology Transit Station is also being planned for the Link Light Rail that is expected in 2023.
The project will increase the number of Microsoft's buildings from the existing 125 to 131, providing enough workspace for their current 47,000 employees plus 8,000 more.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, estimates that the project will cost about $15M to build the planned public spaces, sports fields, and infrastructure. It will also provide 2,500 jobs in construction and development.
Smith believes that the work environment they are aiming to create will help attract the best workers as well as retain them. He claims that they are "building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact."