Microsoft unveils plans for a new modern headquarters

Microsoft unveils plans for a new modern headquarters

Microsoft unveils plans for a new modern headquarters

However, it's time to grow and invest more to upgrade it so that it can become the best workplace for the 47,000 Microsoft employees who work there.

Microsoft will add about 2.5 million square feet in new construction and will renovate another 6.7 million square feet, primarily in the section of campus east of Highway 520, where numerous original buildings built in the mid-80s still stand.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said the new campus will be more open and less formal.

The campus will primarily be built for pedestrian and bike traffic as all vehicles will be moved to an underground parking facility.

Urban campuses in the heart of bustling cities may be all the rage for tech companies these days, but Microsoft thinks it can create some of that modern city vibe without leaving its forested suburban campus.

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. 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 growth plan marks a continued shift away from the car-dependent campus of the last 30 years, made possible by the 2023 arrival of a light rail line that will make travelling to and from the campus without a auto easier than ever.

The extension of Microsoft's Redmond campus is a reflection of the company's recent growth, and it also follows other redevelopment projects at Microsoft's offices in Vancouver BC and London. That would enable Microsoft to raise the headcount at Redmond to a staggering 55,000 employees.

That new culture, which emphasizes collaboration among teams, has been a rallying cry for the company since CEO Satya Nadella took over the reins in February 2014.

Redmond has been Microsoft's home since 1986, and we are proud to be an active part of the Puget Sound community. Instead, the firm envisions the new campus as a place filled with open spaces and plenty of light.

Work on the campus overhaul will begin in fall 2018 and is expected to last up to seven years. The bridge will also tie into a forthcoming Link Light Rail station set to arrive in 2023.

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