scorecardresearch

Here’s a look inside Facebook’s new Cambridge office

Facebook's library with a bookcase wall that opens into a private or quiet room in the Cambridge office.
Facebook's library with a bookcase wall that opens into a private or quiet room in the Cambridge office.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

There’s a secret in the nautical-themed library in Facebook’s new Cambridge office. Push on a bookcase in the back corner, and it swings open to reveal a small study where employees can escape for some quiet time.

Spaces like these are a new luxury for workers at the tech giant’s local outpost, which started with a tiny team at One Broadway in 2013 and now numbers more than 200. The company plans to grow to about 600 at its office here, and things at the old spot were getting pretty tight.

On Wednesday, the company held an event to announce that its move to new space at 100 Binney Street is complete.

Advertisement



“As Facebook has recognized the variety of talent here, we’re continuing to invest. This office is that great opportunity for growth,” said Ryan Mack, founder of the Cambridge office.

An employee worked on a couch with a puzzle set up on a table.
An employee worked on a couch with a puzzle set up on a table.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

The company’s staff here is heavy on engineers and product managers, and it is one of the primary locations where Facebook works on products that incorporate users’ physical location.

The design of the office, created with the architecture firm Gensler, is intended to imbue Facebook’s design aesthetic with a Boston flavor.

Like other offices run by the Menlo Park, Calif., firm, the Binney Street site features an industrial look, with exposed IT wiring and ductwork, along with accent walls of bare wood.

Facebook’s Cambridge office.
Facebook’s Cambridge office.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

It’s also an open concept. Nobody has a dedicated office — though there are many private meeting rooms with Boston-influenced titles. Several have names inspired by MBTA problems: “Disabled Train,” “Fire on the Tracks,” “Mechanical Problem.”

Perks of tech life abound. There’s a bar, with craft brews, modeled after the set of “Cheers.” There’s a music room with a drum set and piano. And of course there’s the Hack Shack, an in-house kitchen run by James Beard award-winning chef Barry Maiden.

Advertisement



The three floors of the office are each marked with a footpath intended for walking meetings or simple perambulation. One of the designs mimics the brick inlays of the Freedom Trail. Another marks distance in “Smoots,” a unit of measure devised by MIT jesters to mark the length of the Harvard Bridge. A third presents a diagram of the Red Line, and this is where Facebook nods to its Cambridge roots.

Stairway looking at three floors of Facebook’s new Cambridge office.
Stairway looking at three floors of Facebook’s new Cambridge office.(David L Ryan/Globe Staff)

A small insignia under a mockup of the Harvard Square stop reads “thefacebook,” a reference to the site’s name when chief executive Mark Zuckerberg started it out of his Harvard dorm room. (He hasn’t visited the new office yet).

Laney Zamore, who leads Facebook’s day-to-day operations in Kendall Square, said it’s a milestone for the company to have enough space in Cambridge to allow workers room for rest or reflection.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect that we’re going to be productive for eight or however many hours,” she said. “A lot of these things help our engineers clear their minds, think about something else for awhile, come back to the problem.”

Employees took a break playing table tennis.
Employees took a break playing table tennis.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
The Freedom Trail is painted on the floor around the office.
The Freedom Trail is painted on the floor around the office.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
A woman sat in a library space in the office.
A woman sat in a library space in the office.(Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
An example of some artwork that is throughout the Facebook office, seen here going to the cafeteria.
An example of some artwork that is throughout the Facebook office, seen here going to the cafeteria.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
A coat rack that resembles one you would see at a schoolhouse.
A coat rack that resembles one you would see at a schoolhouse.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
A micro-kitchen in the work area at Facebook in Cambridge.
A micro-kitchen in the work area at Facebook in Cambridge. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
A wall bench work area.
A wall bench work area.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
In the music room, Gary Chen, a software engineer, played the drums during a break.
In the music room, Gary Chen, a software engineer, played the drums during a break.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
The company plans to grow to about 600 at its office here.
The company plans to grow to about 600 at its office here.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
A sculpture of Facebook’s logo.
A sculpture of Facebook’s logo.(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com.