Facebook, The world’s largest social media network is expanding into a new 227,324-square-foot building with interiors designed by architect Frank Gehry and where Mark Zuckerberg could potentially have a desk among its 2,000 employees in the massive forthcoming open floor plan. “The whole idea here is that, by having an open floor plan where people work close to each other, it facilitates people sharing and communicating about what they’re doing, which enables better collaboration, which we think is key to building the best services for our community,” the CEO of Facebook explains.
Robert Cookson, Head of EMEA, APAC and Americas Real Estate at Facebook, said: “The move to our new offices at One Rathbone Square highlights our commitment to invest and grow our talented teams of people based in London, from engineering and analytics to partnerships and design, who help us connect over a billion people on Facebook across the world. This is a fantastic opportunity to occupy a high quality new development in the heart of the West End. The location has excellent amenities and connectivity, with the very best the city has to offer right on the doorstep including Crossrail once it is established.”
The social networking giant had been scouring the capital for a site capable of holding its sizeable staff. Its chosen destination is an under-construction project for Great Portland Estates on a 1 hectare site close to Oxford Street. What is less widely known is that Frank Gehry’s practice is under contract for the interiors and will work with London based TY to create innovative counter and brew bar designs worthy of this impressive commission. The practice has already delivered a 40,000m2 building for Facebook with ‘the largest open floor plan in the world’ in California’s Silicon Valley.
TY received numerous industry awards in 2014 including Best Independent in the UK, Best Espresso in the UK, and Best Independent in Europe, as well as London’s Best Coffee Shop for Out-of-Office Workers. In 2015 TY was recognised as Best Independent Operator of the Year and presented with the UK Independent Coffee Shop of the Year Gold Award. So far in 2016 TY has been announced as Top Independent Fundraiser for UK Coffee Week 2016 and shortlisted for a Cafe Design Award, Cafe Food Award and, for the second year running, the Independent Coffee Shop of the Year Award. Yuko Inoue, TY Soho Head Barista and who came second place at this year’s Coffee Masters competition at the London Coffee Festival, will be representing TY again this September but this time in New York at Coffee Masters NYC.
TY currently operates from two locations in London: TY Seven Dials and TY Soho. The latter location incorporates TY’s recently opened, private Creative Companies workspace.
TY opened its doors for business in December 2012 and has established itself as a hybrid of creative work space and award-winning coffee shops, with a reputation for high quality food and beverages and a go-to place to attend both formal and informal meetings and innovative events.
Ruth Coppin, the company’s founder and her co-founder, Darren Elliott, continue to refine the TY offering with an emphasis on building a solid community of loyal customers, creative workers and local independent suppliers. Creativity and collaboration is at the centre of all their key relationships. TY is more than its physical workspace and coffee shop locations; it has a substantial online social presence which makes the synergy with Facebook undeniable.
“Facebook is the first collaborative partnership to be announced under ‘TY Collab’ and we’re incredibly excited”, says Ruth. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to innovate bigger than ever before and Facebook
has been keen to support and encourage our creative initiatives. We also see this as a chance to look at our social impact with a percentage from every drink being donated to charities close to our hearts”.
TY has exciting expansion plans that include opening more coffee-infused creative workspaces for the public and early stage businesses, plus one or more ‘Tiny TY’ pop-up locations, as well as additional ‘TY Collab’ partnerships following the Facebook launch in 2017.
TY Facebook will open to all 2,000 Facebook employees and their authorised guests in late 2017. Like the TY Collab page to follow progress.