Microsoft announces major expansion at Redmond campus

An aerial view of the Microsoft campus and X buildings in 2007

Along with the new buildings and public spaces, Microsoft's new campus is created to have running and walking trails and an open-air plaza capable of holding 8,000 to 12,000 people.

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.

As part of the project, Microsoft will also tear down older buildings that no longer fit its needs.

Microsoft announced the plans for expansion via the Microsoft blog. It says its project will include renovations and new construction and will take five to seven years.

In its current form, the Microsoft Redmond campus already has everything that one can think of.

"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. After the renovations, it will therefore have 131 buildings, with modern workspace for the 47,000 employees at the campus, plus room to expand operations and add up to 8,000 more. There would also be a community space for 8,000 to 12,000 people in an open-air plaza and outdoor areas for running and walking, green spaces and walking trails. The anchor tenant of the Spring District, perhaps not coincidentally, is the Global Innovation Exchange, the Microsoft-backed graduate education program run by University of Washington and China's Tsinghua University.

Steve Ballmer plunging into Lake Bill on the Microsoft campus in an undated
Steve Ballmer plunging into Lake Bill on the Microsoft campus in an undated

Microsoft stated that the redevelopment of the campus would create over 2,500 new construction and development jobs.

That transportation emphasis is perhaps the biggest difference from the expansion plan a decade ago. That coexistence is underscored by the three new treehouses on Microsoft's campus - actual wooden huts set high among the trees that the company uses for natural, but unheated, conference rooms.

Given that the company chief executive Satya Nadella is of Indian origin, the expansion will also include a cricket field.

"We want to create a campus that creates the best workplace we can envision for our employees, where they can be creative, where they can learn and collaborate with each other, where they can create technology that moves forward for our customers", explains Smith.

"We've focused on the cultural transformation of the company".




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