Apple's Spaceship better look out, Microsoft is modernizing its headquarters too


Microsoft now employs 47,000 at its Redmond headquarters.

Microsoft announced a major renovation of its campus Tuesday that will transform its Redmond, Wash. headquarters into a mini city of sorts complete with public transportation, heightened buildings and designated public space. Microsoft's Redmond campus, which opened in 1986, now totals 15 million square feet in 125 buildings.

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

It will be the company's biggest physical expansion in more than a decade. As 18 new buildings would be constructed on the Microsoft Redmond Campus, 12 older buildings would be bulldozed.

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The massive redesign will begin next year and encompasses 18 new buildings, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, and almost 7 million square feet of renovations to existing workspace, Microsoft said. The new design also features a community space for 8,000 to 12,000 people in an open-air plaza and outdoor areas including running and walking trails, sports facilities and green spaces. With the added square footage, the campus' space will be the equivalent of 180 football fields.

In their place, and in the acres around them, 18 new buildings will rise, with flexible floor plans meant to foster collaboration, inspiration, and accessibility. It expects the project will create 2,500 construction and development jobs.

Microsoft plans to move all cars to an underground parking facility and is designing the campus entirely around pedestrians and bikes. It will all connect seamlessly with the Redmond Technology Transit Station, which will ferry passengers by light rail to downtown Bellevue and Seattle.

"We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact", says Microsoft. "As Microsoft continues to create the tools and services that are shaping the future of work, we can't think of a better time to modernize our campus into a model of ingenuity and innovation", explained Smith.