2013 Melbourne Design Awards

Facebook head office [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Brendan Read - web: http://www.brendanread.com Shannon Dogon - Siren Design



Project Overview

Welcome to the iconic Facebook head office
… a space that every designer dreams of creating, a space that has quickly set a precedence amongst the international Facebook design standards, and we'll soon show you why ...

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

Siren Design

Project Brief

As we all know, Facebook is a medium that brings people together, and this is how Siren Design interpreted the brief, with great success. The brief was to create a space that would feel comfortable and personal – not overly designed or precious. Facebook highlighted the need to ‘undesign’ the space and allow staff to inject their personalities into the office whilst still provoking creativity, innovation as well as incorporate elements of industrial rawness.

Facebook’s international design approach is to celebrate the process of creation through unfinished materials, raw elements and remnant objects. Furniture was to look like it came out of a garage. The staircase was to look like it was hand-picked from a warehouse space, and the final step was to ensure a local identity was represented in the space, implemented through artwork, graffiti and furniture.

Project Need

The Facebook head office is a product of Siren Design's intelligence having a little fun, because at the end of the day, that’s what creativity is. An environment with no cubicles or offices, with no fancy furniture or expensive lighting, but rather an enduring environment, that reflects who Facebook is and what Facebook does.

The use of Graffiti throughout the lift lobbies, collaborative areas and workspace was a massive success, created huge hype and was spot on according to the brief. It further reiterates the tailor made office that is susceptible to the rogue, emergent, and generative culture of Facebook.

By inserting a staircase between the two floors, and locating the breakout around the base of the staircase, forming the heart of the office, Shannon was able to formulate the perfect foundation to an engaging collaborative office.

Approximately 40% of the floor footprint is designated to informal meeting zones which all have access to power. Should you choose a comfy beanbag or a soft lounge, there is Wi-Fi throughout enabling work to happen anywhere. Pinnable and writable surfaces are also a plenty. 'Write Something' wall is an obvious necessity.

Design Challenge

Being a multinational corporation, the 'client' consisted of the San Francisco, Indian and Singapore teams, Singapore based client and Sydney based office manager. That's alooooooooot of people to please.

To add to the list, there is the Facebook design guidelines, (commonly known to Siren as the bible), which is a stringent set of spatial requirements that forms the international standards. This stipulates the cookie cut spaces that every international Facebook office needs to have followed by essential requirements such as lighting, power data and so on. In addition to this manual, there are AV, IT, security & acoustic guidelines to follow and of course client standards that all form an ambiguous yet detailed brief.

With all this in mind, the challenge was to manage all clients and requirements whilst maintaining the design intent throughout all phases of the project. Siren was successful in ensuring the design integrity was not lost or affected throughout this process.


Firstly, every design choice made outside the design guideline parameters is 90% Australian influence. From local furniture suppliers to local graffiti artists, the Facebook head office screams cutting edge, innovative Australian design and supply. Supporting the Australian economy and design industry is of great importance to Siren Design. Supporting local designers not only helps to place Australia on the map but also reduces furniture lead times, stimulates design culture and in some instances reduces product costs.

Siren worked closely with the service engineers to ensure the existing environmentally friendly chilled beam system was not compromised. Although Facebook standards suggested pack units, sustainably, it is more efficient to pump water than to blow air. This saves energy and reduces the ecological footprint on the environment.

The Facebook office has been designed for the staff to inhabit, mould and develop the space. Longevity of the project was always a factor designed into the scheme to avoid immediate future upgrades or redesigns. Any additional or future design works or waste will contribute to an unecological outcome. There is a 10% allowance for future growth which was forecasted by the client.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  

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